Gov't Accused of Neglecting Displaced Apaa Residents

The Acholi team that was set up to investigate the Apaa boundary dispute between the Amuru and Adjumani residents has said the Government neglected Apaa evictees despite their suffering.
Apaa Trading Centre overlooking Adjumani District.

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The Acholi team that was set up to investigate the Apaa boundary dispute has accused the Government of neglected the displaced Apaa residents.

Over 300 residents of Apaa village, Pabbo Sub County have been displaced due to the boundary dispute.

The communities have been disputing over land, which is estimated to be 40 square miles.

  In 2015, government forcefully planted mark stones in Apaa Village, in the Amuru-Adjumani districts to demarcate boundaries amidst protests from Amuru residents.

More than 21 people were injured when police used live bullets to disperse those opposed to the demarcation exercise. 

However, the conflicts between the two communities have been continuous characterized by attacks of the occupants with machetes and arrows, torching of grass thatched houses, something that has led to the displacement of hundreds of residents of the area.

   Government says that the land in question is part of East Madi wildlife reserve.

As a result, Government set up an eight-member committee from both the Adjumani and Amuru districts led by the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to investigate the matter.

  Now appearing before the Parliamentary select committee on Apaa, Daniel Kidega, the Vice-chairperson of the Acholi team noted that Government has failed to protect the people affected.     

Kidega says both the madi and Acholi side had initially agreed to restore order in Apaa with people’s grass thatched houses being torched daily, people beaten and shot with bows and arrows under the watch security.     

He also faulted Government for failing to compensate the affected persons despite President Museveni’s pledge.       

Kidega also said the humanitarian support to the affected people was so lukewarm. 

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He also says the proposal to degazette about 25 square kilometres for the affected residents to settle in does not hold, as that is not sustainable.  

  Gladys Oyat, also a member of the Acholi team says that the affected people feel victimized and are suffering double tragedy as they had just returned from the war. She says that several Government institutions like hospitals and schools clearly indicate the dispute area is in Acholi.  

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Christopher Ojera, the Local Councilor 1 of Pabbo, a resident of the area told the committee that whereas it could be true that some part of the land was in Adjumani, it doesn’t stop people from living together. Ojera says UWA was to blame for the evictions.

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Committee chairperson Agnes Amede told the members that they will do their best to present the adequate report and solution before the house.

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