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Gulu Police Blames Arson Attacks on Land Conflicts

Police in Gulu has blamed the rampant fire outbreak cases in the district on vengeful acts inspired by conflicts over land, relationships, finance and negligence by the residents. Since the beginning of this year, at least 30 cases of fire outbreak have been reported in Gulu district alone; 9 in Kitgum, Pader and Agago.

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Police in Gulu has blamed the rampant fire outbreak cases in the district on vengeful acts inspired by conflicts over land, relationships, finance and negligence by the residents.

 

Since the beginning of this year, at least 30 cases of fire outbreak have been reported in Gulu district alone;  9 in Kitgum, Pader and Agago.

 

The Aswa regional police spokesperson Patrick Jimmy Okema says many fires are started by arsonists seeking revenge. In many cases police has discovered that the arsonists and victims have links.

 

Cue in: “the revengeful activities…..”

Cue out: “…….children unattended to”//

 

Among the fire outbreak victims has been the Gulu Internal Security Officer of Patiko sub county in Gulu district Geoffrey Lukakabwuno. His house was burnt by arsonists still on the run in February.

 

The LC three chairman of Patiko sub county Alex Kilara believes Lukakabwuno might have been attacked because he had been mediating in land conflicts in Gulu. The DISO is said to have lost 5 million shillings cash in the blaze.

 

Retired Bishop McLeod Baker Ochola, an Acholi elder, says that the people are frustrated with the new justice system which they do not understand and seems to cheat them of justice.  He says many people especially in Acholi are used to the traditional justice mechanisms that have always yielded fruits directly. He says the high level of revenge arson attacks especially through burning of houses could be as a result of the high level of trauma that people underwent.

 

Only February 18, over 30 families where left homeless in Olailong village in Gulu Municipality after a fire gutted several homesteads in the night. Police is still investigating the matter.

 

As a result of the rampant fire outbreaks, police in Gulu has also banned carrying of fuel in jericans from petrol stations. Okema warned that people should also be vigilant to stop fire in case of outbreaks since it is the dry season.

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