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Gulu Market Vendors Deliver Relief Support to Displaced Apaa Residents

The 244 displaced persons arrived at the offices of High Commissioner for Human Rights UNHCR in Gulu Town on Wednesday, reportedly fleeing human rights violations, torture and destruction of livelihoods perpetrated by the Uganda peoples Defense forces - UPDF in the disputed area between Amuru and Adjumani district.
Some of the Items The Vendors Delivered

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The displaced residents of Apaa township who are now resident at the UN Compound in Gulu Town have been supported with an assortment of relief items thanks to a drive by the Association of Gulu Main Market vendors.

The 244 displaced persons arrived at the offices of High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) in Gulu Town on Wednesday, reportedly fleeing human rights violations, torture and destruction of livelihoods perpetrated by the Uganda people's Defense forces - UPDF in the disputed area between Amuru and Adjumani district.

The residents say they came from villages of Punu Dyang, Gaji, Acholi Ber, Oyanga and Oloyo Kampala where UPDF last burned 843 homes between November 2017 and June this year. The UPDF has denied involvement in the conflict that pits Amuru district against Adjumani district local government.

Patrick Omaya, the Chairperson of Gulu Main Market Vendors Association says they responded to an appeal for assistance from the displaced persons. He said the consignment is worth six million Shillings. They delivered the assortment of items to leaders of the displaced community this afternoon.

 

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Apaa is at the heart of a bitter ownership dispute between Adjumani and Amuru districts and two major statutory institutions Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA and the National Forestry Authority-NFA. The disputed area is estimated to be more than 200 square kilometres in size.

UWA and NFA claim the areas are part of Madi Wildlife Reserve and Zoka Forest Reserve respectively after parliament gazetted the area in 2002. But the residents say the gazettement infringed on their land rights as it happened while they were in camps for internally displaced persons during the height of the Lord's Resistance Army conflict.

Jennifer Aling, one of the vendors who visited the displaced community today, said it was sad to see the sufferings of the displaced persons. Aling says that the situation reminded him of the days of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

Similarly, Patrick Omaya broke into tears at the sight of the affected residents whom he said are in dire need of food, bedding and clothing. Some children below the age of 10 are staying naked inside the United Nations Compound.

 

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Kilak North Member of Parliament Anthony Akol said they have set up a desk to mobilize relief for the affected at Charity for Peace organization in Gulu Town. He says residents of Gulu Town are continuing to deliver various items to help the affected.