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Widows in Amuru Struggle for Livelihood after Land Evictions

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 narrates her ordeal of land conflict to Uganda Radio Network recently from where she is being sheltered in at Ali village in Layima Sub County

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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 explained.