Some local leaders in Amuru are accusing police of linking them to a new rebel group because of their strong opposition to the proposed allocation of their customary land to Madhvani Group of Companies for sugarcane growing. Thomas Tobina, the chairperson Pado Development Association says that he was recently summoned to Pabo Police Post, where he was grilled for several hours by detectives for his alleged involvement in the recruitment of youths into armed rebellion.
Tobina says during interrogations, detectives accused him of working together with Gilbert Oulanya, the Kilak County MP to recruit youths from Apa parish to join an undisclosed rebel group. Oulanya has also confirmed being summoned to police over similar allegations. The MP suspects the charges stem from their opposition to the land give away in Amuru district because most of the accused are his friends.
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Geoffrey Bongomin, a resident of Pabo says the attempts to link them to rebel activities is aimed at intimidating them to stop their opposition to the allocation of their customary land to Madhvani Group of companies. He says even if they are slapped with trumped up charge of treason, they will not relent on their resolve to protect their land.
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Patrick Okema, the Aswa Regional Police Spokesperson told URN that he was not aware of the summons issued to MP Oulanya and Thomas Tobina over their alleged rebel links. Meanwhile, UPDF has deployed heavily at Amuru Community Polytechnic and tension continue building between residents and and Madhvani Group over the land in Lakang. Amuru district council recently gave Madhvani Group of Companies 10,000 acres of land for sugar cane growing. However, residents are opposed to the land give way saying they were not consulted.