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Adjumani MPs Want Oulanyah Withdrawn from Apaa-Probe Committee

The dispute started in 2012 when the Adjumani district council gazetted the area as East Madi Game Reserve, a move which was opposed by authorities in Amuru district, who equally claimed rights over the same land. It has taken twists and turns over the years, resulting in loss of lives and property.
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah

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Members of Parliament from Adjumani district have asked the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah to relinquish the leadership of a new committee probing the Apaa land dispute.  

The dispute started in 2012 when the Adjumani district council gazetted the area as East Madi Game Reserve, a move which was opposed by authorities in Amuru district, who equally claimed rights over the same land. It has taken twists and turns over the years, resulting in loss of lives and property.  

Recently, the government announced that it had taken a decision to evict all settlers from the game reserve, a decision which would favour the Madi community that had earlier on asked the government to resettle all persons occupying the land in question. The Acholi Community was rooting for the degazettement of the disputed area for human settlement.  

But in another move to resolve the conflict, President Yoweri Museveni appointed Oulanyah to head a new committee on the contested Adjumani-Amuru boundary.  On the same committee is Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda as Vice Person and Second Deputy Premier Gen Moses Ali, Ministers Betty Amongi, Hillary Onek, Ephraim Kamuntu, and Sam Cheptoris as members. 

However, area legislators have labelled Oulanyah biased in the conflict that pits the Madi Community of Adjumani against the Acholi community from Amuru. Oulanyah, the Member of Parliament for Omoro County, belongs to the Acholi Community. 

Adjumani woman MP Jessica Ababiku says Oulanyah is not neutral and, as such, does not have the moral authority to lead the committee. 

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Adjumani East MP Mark Angel Dullu equally demanded that the president sticks to decisions of the initial mediation team led by Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, which agreed that all people be evicted from the game reserve and resettled elsewhere. 

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Oulanyah says he does not serve any interest except that of the affected people adding that he cannot individually direct the committee to a position that has not been agreed upon.   

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Oulanyah adds that he would leave the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to chair the discussions on Apaa if they come before parliament to avoid any issues as the chairperson of the investigating committee.  

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Conflicts between the two communities have been continuously characterized by attacks of the occupants with machetes and arrows, torching of grass thatched houses and the displacement of residents.

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