The conflict stems from an application to the Amuru District Land Board by the administrators of estates of late Yasoni Ojwang on 7 May 2021 for grant of freehold tenure of land measuring 1,353.7 hectares (5.2 square miles) in Langeta village, Pawel parish in Opara Sub-County.
A deadly land
conflict has displaced at least 250 families in Amuru District.
The conflict stems
from an application to the Amuru District Land Board by the administrators of
estates of late Yasoni Ojwang on 7 May 2021 for grant of freehold tenure of land
measuring 1,353.7 hectares (5.2 square miles) in Langeta village, Pawel parish in Opara
Sitting on 6
May, the Land Board sat and considered the application by the
administrators of the estates namely Christopher Dwala, Godfrey Acaye
Ojwang, Robert Otto Ojwang, James Ocaya and John Lony Ojwang.
Land Board received a letter of complaint against the grant of freehold occupancy to the applicants, prompting the district Chief Administrative Officer
on 25 October 2021, to write to the Opara Sub-County chief, directing the inspection
of the boundary of the contested land.
the proposal angered concerned members of the Palaro clan who rose up in
arms against Ojwang’s family in an attack to dispute the size of the land in
question saying it was too big and exaggerated.
The deadly attack
that occurred on 22 October 2021 left four people from late Ojwang’s family critically
injured, several of their grass thatched houses were torched, while dozens of livestock were looted causing displacement of families. To date, tensions remain high in the area.
Emma, 25, was injured after he was shot with an arrow that got stuck in his
wait. Ojok told URN that the attackers accused him of being a mercenary hired
by the Ojwang family to fight on their behalf.
Ojwang, a victim of the attack said, he had gone to the family kraal before he
met men armed with bows and arrows, spears and machetes who hit him several times with
a hammer resulting in multiple injuries with a fractured arm.
//Cue in; “Cungu ma acungu …'//
Cue out…angeyo gimo keken.”//
James Oloya P’Micele,
Pawel Kal said15 members of their families were arrested though two
were later released on trumped up charges, adding that those still under detention
have been tortured by security.
//Cue in; “Dog ot pa…'//
Cue out…enoni ikom gi.”//
Susan Aloyo, 28, a
mother of four says her husband disappeared on the day of the attackd and has never been seen. She said their crops that were due for harvest and livestock among
others were plundered by men armed with clubs, spears and axes who have been patrolling
their village to threaten their security, prompting them to vacate the
//Cue in; “Kiwango otoo…'//
Cue out…watye kabuto kec.”//
Speaking to URN, George Ocan, the area
Councilor explained that the land size being claimed by Ojwang’s family is too
huge that it has sparked outrage among other occupants of the contested land.
//Cue in; “The acreage that…'//
Cue out…belongs to them.”//
sources argued that Ojwang’s family is claiming the entire sub-county, Kitara Lapyem Obong,
the Secretary for District Land Board disputed the allegations as unfounded,
and asserted that such allegations are meant to incite the public.
District Commissioner Geoffrey Osborn Oceng says they are doing all that is
necessary to mediate the land conflict to mitigate the violence and bring an
end the hostility and restore normalcy. He also said he has directed that those
arrested, should be released to pave way for dialogue.
Elders in the area
including local leaders disclosed that the late Ojwang acquired a huge chunk of
land in the area in the early 1900s during colonial era. Being a polygamist, the
leaders say Ojwang was married to over 40 women and reared at 4,000 livestock on
the in question.