Agnes Lindah Auma, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner, says they found evidence that UWA rangers disguise themselves as unknown militia to attack and destroy homes of residents in the disputed area.
Amuru district security committee has blamed rangers of Uganda
Wildlife Authority for being behind repeated acts of terrorising residents of
disputed Apaa Township.
Agnes Lindah Auma, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner, says
they found evidence that UWA rangers disguise themselves as unknown militia to
attack and destroy homes of residents in the disputed area.
Last month, the group destroyed 48 homesteads in Acholiber village
in the disputed township forcing many residents to flee into internally displaced
persons camp in Zoka C.
Auma says investigations by the committee established that the rangers
are dressed in civilian clothes to appear like strangers from Madi communities
in Adjumani district. She says they then conduct uncoordinated evictions in
which they burn homesteads and loot properties without the knowledge of local
leaders and the district security committee.
Auma told the select committee of Parliament investigating the
Apaa land dispute that their repeated investigations unmasked UWA rangers as
the perpetrators of some of the atrocities on residents of the area.
Although Auma did not cite scenarios in which UWA rangers engaged
in such violence, she said UWA is also to blame for suspension of health
service delivery in Apaa Township. She said since UWA ran down Apaa Health
Center II for encouraging residents to settle in the disputed area, Amuru
district Health Department is stuck with three consignments of drugs for three
separate quarters meant for Apaa health centre II.
//Cue in: “Three consignment for Apaa….
Cue out: “….services to be given to the people”//
Auma says UWA and a section of politicians from Amuru district
should be held accountable for denying the people of disputed Apaa township
access to health care. She says the problem has been compounded by selfish
political interests from Amuru district.
//Cue in: “I discussed with …
Cue out: “…in our leadership”//
According to Auma, the last consignment for the Health Center
arrived in March for the current quarter. She says attempts by her office to
have Adjumani district dispense the drugs have failed as UWA insists
operationalizing the health centre will encourage further encroachment in the
//Cue in: “These drugs are here…
Cue out: “…it was in UWA area”//
Apaa Health centre is located in the epicenter of the ownership
dispute of an expansive 827 square kilometres of land pitting Adjumani and
Amuru district. The area was controversially declared by local government
Minister Tom Butiime to be in the territory of Adjumani district in October
It is not the only institution affected by the land dispute.
Michael Lakony, the Amuru
LC5 Chairperson says the dispute has also affected seven community schools
which had been submitted for coding in the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The select Parliamentary committee is conducting hearings into
some of the human rights violations committed in the course of the conflict
which dates back to 2012. They are due to visit the area on Wednesday.
It is unclear if they will compel UWA to answer to the allegations
made by the district security committee.
On Monday, residents of the area asked Parliament to treat some of
the atrocities they suffered as gross human rights violations.
They said the perpetrators should apologize to them or be prosecuted in court
for their actions which left 18 people dead and several others injured.
To date, East Madi Wildlife Reserve has no permanent UWA ranger
post and no protected wildlife living in the area. The rangers come from
Murchison Falls National Park to pacify the area.