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UN Documents Plight of Displaced Amuru Residents

Apaa is at the heart of a bitter ownership dispute between Adjumani and Amuru and two major statutory agents Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA and the National Forestry Authority-NFA.
12 Jul 2018 15:29
Residents Carried Some of the Properties Destroyed During Some of The Evictions As Evidence For Their Displacement To The UN Human Rights Offices in Gulu Town
The United Nations Human Rights has begun documenting the plights of residents displaced from disputed Apaa Township on Wednesday.

The documentation which begun on Thursday delayed a planned meeting between Acholi leaders and the UN officials to discuss the situation of the displaced persons.

Apaa is at the heart of a bitter ownership dispute between Adjumani and Amuru and two major statutory agents Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA and the National Forestry Authority-NFA.

UWA and NFA claim the area are part of Madi Wildlife Reserve and Zoka Forest Reserve respectively after parliament gazetted the area in 2002. 

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.

URN has learned that the UN Officials are documenting testimonies of the displaced persons after grouping them into smaller demographic groups – children, women, and men. 

Earlier three members of Parliament were blocked by UN Security securing the compound from spending the night with the residents at the UN compound. They were Kilak South Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya and Kilak North Member of Parliament Anthony Akol and Lucy Achiro Otim, the Pader Woman Member of Parliament.

The MPs who carried their beddings were denied entry upon reaching the gate of the UN Compound at about 9 pm. They were told that it was against UN protocol to politicize humanitarian disasters.

After more than 30 minutes of negotiations and waiting, the UN Security personnel told the MPs to march away.

Olanya, says that they sought to spend the night with the displaced persons to send a loud message to the international community that they have let down the people of Apaa township for far too long.




The dejected MPs left promising to return in the morning. On Thursday, legislators Peter Okot, the Tochi County Member of Parliament in Omoro district, Achiro and Olanya returned to check on the residents.

They were again turned away. The MPs say they are seeking partnership with UN Human rights in mobilizing food and relief for the affected residents from the streets of Gulu Town.

The occupation of the UN compound is a new twist to the prolonged land dispute which began in 2002 after parliament gazetted the area as wildlife reserve.

Since then, there has been numerous eviction attempts to drive away more than 26,000 residents from the area.