Hundreds of women in Amuru District are struggling to provide for
families after they were evicted from marital homes.
More than 200 women mainly widows from Amuru District have been
evicted from their marital land in the last two years according to the statistics
from Action Aid Uganda.
Perina Arach, a 57-year-old mother of nine children in Muitema
Parish in Layima Sub County is among the victims of the land conflict that saw
her and children evicted by the in-laws.
Arach says that her family was attacked by more than 80 people in 2018
that carried out several destructions on property worth millions of shillings.
Among the notable destruction was the burning of
eight houses, looting of 28 goats and sexual assault before the family members
were locked in prisons for seven months.
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Arach says that when she was released from prison, her land
measuring about 100 hectares was already occupied by their relatives as part of
the land was sold to the neighbouring community.
Since then, Arach and the family relocated from the area to live
with her elder sister in Ali village in Luyima Sub County about 24 kilometres
from where she was evicted from in Mutema Parish.
At Tedi village in Acwere Parish
from Amuru Sub County, Regina Akello, a 65-year-old mother is another victim of
land conflict in the District. Akello says when her husband and
her firstborn children were burnt inside her house by the rebels in the Lord
Resistance Army at the peak of the Insurgency in the North she fled to Kasese
District to seek refuge.
Akello added that she returned home after the war and found her land occupied
by people including her relatives who denied her accesses for resettlement.
“They sold off 45 hectares of my land and only gave me half a hectare
to just build a house. I can’t farm neither bring back home children from
Kasese” Akello added.
Simon Oryema, a Para-Legal with Action Aid Uganda revealed that of the cases of
land conflict affecting women in Amuru, only 10 were mediated while the rest
are still in Courts for settlement.
Michael Lakony, the Amuru LCV Chairperson, says that most of the
evictions in Amuru are illegal which mainly affected the widows and orphans.
“The families have lost tie during the war and we can only address
the land questions when we revive the culture of communal land ownership in the
setting of Acholi tradition which has conflict mechanisms” Lakony further