Fourth Infantry Division commander Brig. Michael Kabango told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that some security personnel are encouraging the influx of locals inside the gazeted Zoka Central Forest Reserve and East Madi Wildlife Reserve.
A woman rummages through her burnt properties in a previous attack by armed men in Acholi Ber village, Apaa Township on 14 February 2018.
The army has blamed some of its officers for negligence that resulted in a deadly clash in the
disputed Apaa land, claimed by both Amuru and Adjumani districts.
At least six people were
reportedly killed, and 11 others injured in separate attacks by unknown
assailants between Thursday and Saturday in the parishes of Oyanga, Luru, and
Acholi Ber in Itirikwa Sub-county.
The assailants according to local
leaders, wielded machetes, bows, and arrows during the separate raids that
resulted in the death of three people from central Uganda and three others from
Fourth Infantry Division
commander Brig. Michael Kabango told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that some
security personnel are encouraging the influx of locals inside the gazeted Zoka
Central Forest Reserve and East Madi Wildlife Reserve.
Brig. Kabango said the security
personnel whom he didn’t identify are directly liable for the recent clashes
that left locals dead and others injured. He notes that the army will take
action against them for their negligence.
//Cue in: “There are those…
Cue out:…already taken
Brig. Kabango claimed that the
latest clashes were triggered over interests of land grab among the locals who
encroached into the Wildlife Reserve and the Forest Reserve.
He says the army has heavily
deployed in the affected areas to ensure there isn’t a repeat of the clash and
notes that those illegally occupying the areas have equally been pushed out.
//Cue in: “What happened is…
Cue out:…does not reoccur.”//
Brig. Kabango however called for
calm among the locals and leaders and warned against the encroachment of
government lands in the disputed area.
Charles Okoya, the LCI
Chairperson of Apaa Township faulted security personnel comprising the army
and police for always failing to respond to their alerts in time. He says on
several occasions; they have informed security personnel about suspicious
individuals roaming the affected villages, but they always rubbished them as
81-year-old Jervise Onek Atunya,
a resident of Arii village in Apaa Township equally blames security officers
deployed in the area for ignoring reports of invasion given to them by
“Locals are tired of giving
reports to the security officers because even if you share with them, they
don’t do anything about it. Right now, there are ongoing attacks on innocent
civilians and the burning of houses while others have been arrested and these
have angered our people,” says Atunya.
Peter Taban Data, the Adjumani
Resident District Commissioner told Uganda Radio Network in an interview over
the weekend that security hadn’t arrested any culprit about the separate
attacks but noted investigations were already ongoing.
Meanwhile, security over the
weekend began the forceful eviction of residents occupying areas that fall
within the protected East Madi Wildlife Reserve and Zoka Central Forest Reserve.
At least 56 people mainly from
the Central Part of Uganda were among those forced out of the area on Sunday according
to security officials. Those evicted included women, men, and children who are
currently stuck in Gulu City where they are camping at Gulu Main Bus Park in the
Peter Banya, the Deputy Resident
City Commissioner in charge of the Pece-Laroo Division says those evicted had
been given ample time to relocate but were reluctant to leave.
//Cue in: “Last night we…
Cue out:…illegally staying there.”//
In February, President
Museveni suspended the eviction of locals from the disputed area a week after Prime
Minister Robinah Nabbanja gave a 90-day ultimatum for those occupying the
protected land to voluntarily leave.
The President however reasoned
that Nabbanja’s directives were based on old cabinet decisions and promised the
land dispute would be resolved after independent investigations by a Judicial
Commission of inquiry he commissioned in August this year are conducted. The commission led by retired Chief Justice
Bart Katureebe is yet to start their work.
Bureau Chief, West Acholi