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Fresh Tension Over Disputed Madi Okollo-Terego Border Area

On Wednesday, the locals in the two sub counties clashed over the disputed Ocea market , after the tender was awarded to two entities by officials of Uriama and Rigbo sub counties.
A group of UPDF soldiers on a patrol in Ocea trading centre on Monday.

Audio 4

There is tension between Terego and Madi Okollo district officials over revenue collection at Ocea Market, claimed by Uriama and Rigbo sub-counties.

On Wednesday, residents in the two sub-counties clashed over the market management, after Uriama sub-county council awarded the tender to Kamure Titia, a resident of Terego district.

However, the same market was also allegedly awarded to Oluba Community Development Association by Rigbo sub-county officials in Madi Okollo district. At least nine people believed to be market clerks were reportedly arrested by the UPDF deployed in the area to that effect.

For a long, the two districts have been embroiled in a dispute in Uriama and Rigbo sub-counties with each claiming, Ocea Market and Quiver Secondary School are located within its territory.

The dispute has been worsened by the fact that the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development reaffirmation exercise that was carried out in 2021 reaffirmed that the disputed market falls in Terego district, something that has since been rejected by Madi Okollo district.

Vincent Okot, the Uriama LCIII Chairman say they were shocked to learn that the market tenderer was blocked by members who previously have been managing the market.

//Cue in: “The reaffirmation which…”

Cue out: …of oluba clan.”//

Andati Faruk, the Vice-Chairperson Oluba Clan landlords explain that he acted because the letter that the new tender presented had some errors and therefore could not allow him to manage the market.

//Cue in: “That letter kamure…”

Cue out: …specifically addressed.”//

Kamure Titia, the new tender says he legally won the tender for the market and wonders how he is going to pay the sub-county council since he has been blocked.

//Cue in: “This was my tender…”

Cue out: …scattered the workers.”//

Winfred Saka, the Terego LCV Chairperson blames the central government for failing to pronounce itself on the reaffirmation exercise that was carried out last year. Saka says the current escalation of the conflict has caused tension and threatening bloodshed in the area.

//Cue in: “This conflict has…”

Cue out: …never stepped here.”//

Ismail Drabe, the LCV Chairperson for Madi Okollo noted that their positions remain and they are waiting for the ministry of Lands to solve the dispute using the colonial original map.

This is the second time for locals in the two sub-counties to clash over Ocea market tender. On 1 July 2020 when Terego district was inaugurated, locals from the two sub-counties clashed over Ocea market because the tender for the market was being awarded to a person in Rigbo sub-county. Seventeen people were arrested by Police to that effect.

The border conflict between Uriama sub-county in Terego district and Rigbo sub-county in Madi-Okollo district started in the late 1990s over resources like taxes, land for agriculture and access to the Nile river.

Terego district has other border conflicts with Yumbe at a point where Rivers Enyau and Ore meet and another one at Drajini. While Madi Okollo has other broader conflicts with Arua district, Nebbi District, Yumbe district over Ewanga Sub-county among others.

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