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Chief Justice Owiny Dollo Cautions Acholi Leaders Against Inciting Violence in Apaa Township

A section of Members of Parliament and Acholi leaders including former Presidential Candidate Norbert Mao had said that the long-standing Apaa conflicts which are being meted on the community require local means to end it. Among the suggestions was retaliation and staging nude protests to call for immediate intervention from the government and rights bodies.
Chief Justice Owiny Dollo (M) interacting with Gulu City Woman MP Betty Aol Ocan. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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The Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo Chigamoyi has cautioned Members of Parliament and Acholi elites against inciting violence in Apaa Township.   

Owiny Dollo warned that everyone should desist from preaching and inciting violence among the people in a move to avenge rights violence and disputes being meted on the people living in the contested Apaa Township.   

The ownership of Apaa Township measuring approximately 24 square kilometers is highly contested between the Madi community of Adjumani district and Acholi community of Amuru district.   

Both claim ancestral ownership over the land the area. Since 2012 the area has witnessed waves of violent conflicts which have reportedly claimed the lives of 20 people, the whereabouts of two people remain unknown, hundreds of properties and livestock have also been destroyed in the conflicts.   

A section of Members of Parliament and Acholi leaders including former Presidential Candidate Norbert Mao had said that the long-standing Apaa conflicts which are being meted on the community require local means to end it. 

Among the suggestions was retaliation and staging nude protests to call for immediate intervention from the government and rights bodies. Mao said that using diplomacy to solve the attacks in Apaa was no solution to the conflicts since it has yielded no fruits.   

On the other hand, Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament had equally said that there is a call for another nude protest in Apaa to bring to the attention of the world the plights of the people since everyone is silent on the suffering of the people.

Luo

//Cue in: ‘’wic moni cani…    

Cue out: …kono pe gangway.’’//    

The leaders raised the matters on Sunday during a meeting of Acholi MPs, LC5 Chairpersons, elders, religious and traditional leaders among other people convened by the Acholi Parliamentary Group held at the Acholi Cultural Institution in Gulu City. 

However, in response, Chief Justice Owiny Dollo who was part of the meeting urged the leaders to denounce violence and instead focus on sophistication and peaceful means of solving the violence.   

Responding to Mao, the Chief Justice said that he is not ready to be part of a radical team seeking local means, locally ‘’wic lorio’’ to solve the conflicts citing that he has witnessed such from rebel leaders Alice Lakwena and Joseph Kony and seen their effects. 

Luo

//Cue in: ‘’wan pu mito… Cue out: …tii ki sophistication.’’//  

He urged the leaders to embrace peace and give benefits of doubts to the judicial commission of inquiry which Acholi leaders and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni agreed to set up to fact find on the geographical location of Apaa Township and the nature of conflicts being witnessed.   

Dollo also urged the leadership of Acholi and Madi to avoid politicizing Apaa issues for their own gains.   

Retired Anglican Bishop Nelson Onono Ongweng, who admitted politics in the Apaa issue asked the leaders to focus on truth. 

Luo

//Cue in: ‘’gin ma awinyo…  

Cue out: …ka onongo time.’’//

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