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Security Foils Apaa Land Demonstration In Gulu Town

Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament told URN that they will proceed with the planned rally despite the heavy deployment of soldiers and Police in Gulu Town. He says they are also demanding the immediate release of John Bosco Uhuru.
04 Feb 2019 14:28
The MPs Arrested By Police
There is heavy security deployment in Gulu Town to prevent a demonstration and rally against renewed violence in Apaa Township, which borders Amuru and Adjumani districts. Five Members of Parliament from Amuru, Pader and Omoro districts mobilized residents to take to the streets this morning.

They include the Kilak South Member of Parliament, Gilbert Olanya, his Kilak North counterpart, Anthony Akol, Lucy Akello, the Amuru Woman Member of Parliament, Aruu South Member of Parliament, Odonga Otto and Tochi County Member of Parliament, Peter Okot. John Bosco Nyangkol, the Acting Gulu District Police Commander, led a team of officers to pick up the legislators and led them to Gulu Central Police Station.

The MPs had just started marching alongside other protesters from Gulu Main Market parking lot on Market Street towards Kaunda grounds, about 2 Kilometers West of Gulu Town when heavily armed anti-riot Police intercepted them. Also arrested was John Bosco Uhuru, a social media campaigner, Daniel Komakech - the Chairperson of Acholi delegation to the Apaa Land Dispute Presidential Mediation Committee and Dan Daniel Rackara among other youth.

The MPs escaped from Gulu Central Police Station shortly after arriving aboard a police patrol vehicle. Only John Bosco Uhuru is still locked up at Gulu Central Police Station. 

Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament told URN that they will proceed with the planned rally despite the heavy deployment of soldiers and Police in Gulu Town. He says they are also demanding the immediate release of John Bosco Uhuru.

Anthony Akol, the Kilak North Member of Parliament says they are protesting government's failure to stop the renewed violence, which has displaced more than 1000 people to Juka trading Center. He says government is reluctant to arrest and prosecute those behind the violence.

On Tuesday, Parliament directed government to deliver relief to the displaced persons. The Apaa land crisis dates back to 2002 when Adjumani district local government gazetted about 827 Square Kilometers into a Wildlife Reserve.

Amuru district claims the gazettement was illegal since the area is part of its territory. The dispute has since sucked in Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and National Forestry Authority (NFA) who are also claiming ownership of the disputed land. 

Last year, President Yoweri Museveni set up a 16-man committee to find a lasting solution to the conflict. The committee consulted and drafted a final position paper to the President that has already suggested three options for resolving the conflict.

The options are relocating and compensating the residents in Acholi districts or resettling them near Adjumani administrative headquarters and degazetting a section of the 827 Square kilometer expanse of Wildlife Reserve for their settlement.  

The Acholi delegation in the committee favors gazettement while Madi delegation is in favor of relocating the population living there to Adjumani or Acholi districts.