Akol says that on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th of June this year, a group of armed arsonists stormed the area, assaulted and injured twenty-seven people, burnt down 300 huts, and looted several household items, livestock, and poultry noting that it would keep them in abject poverty.
Leaders from the Acholi sub-region on Saturday
petitioned President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni demanding his intervention to sort
out the recurring insecurity in Apaa Township once and for all.
The leaders say that the Acholi communities residing
in Apaa Township which borders Adjumani and Amuru districts are experiencing gross violation of human rights and recurrent armed attacks from certain people.
The petition was presented to the President by Anthony
Akol, the Acholi Parliamentary Group Chairperson and also Member of Parliament
for Kilak North in Amuru district from Baralege State Lodge in Otuke district
during the President`s meeting with leaders from Acholi and Lango Sub regions.
Akol says that from the 2nd, 3rd,
4th, to the 5th of June this year, a group of armed arsonists
stormed the area, assaulted and injured twenty-seven people, burnt down 300 huts, and looted several household items, livestock, and poultry noting that this would
keep them in abject poverty.
He noted that the people in the area are living in
fear, camped in different places, and suffering without food, clothing, and shelter.
The leaders want the President to come out and sort out the issue of the area
once and for all.
They also want the President to ensure maximum
security and uphold the human rights and dignity of the people regardless of which
tribes they belong to.
in: ‘’the map which…//
out: …by the map.’’//
As he pleaded with the President while on his knees and
in near tears, Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament says that
there is serious insecurity in Apaa.
He says that the suspected gangs are an organized group
of people that requires the President to reign over them.
Olanya also says
that the security personnel in the area has severally blocked elected leaders from
Acholi from accessing the area.
in: ‘’right now the…//
out: …of Apaa rest.’’//
After receiving the petition, President Museveni admitted
failure in resolving the matter noting that he failed to conclude the matter due
to his delay in working with the judicial commission of inquiries which they
had agreed on.
He also cautioned politicians and leaders in the area
against misleading the people in the area to fuel conflicts. He pledged to constitute a committee immediately to address the area's insecurity and border tension.
in: ‘’now Apaa I…//
out: …delayed to move.’’//
However, Jackson Kafuuzi who was a member of the Apaa
inquiry select committee told the President and leaders that the problems in
Apaa are being politically driven noting that the map has confirmed that the
area is in the Adjumani district hence no need for conflicts.
in: ‘’that went to…//
out: … reports for Parliament.’’//
The major disputes around
the township related to its ownership, economic land use for settlement or
wildlife conservation, and geographical boundaries of Amuru and Adjumani after
the area measuring about 200 square kilometers were controversially declared a
conservation area in 2002.
Uganda Wildlife Authority
claims that Parliament gazetted the area, a Wildlife reserve, after the
Adjumani district local government declared it as part of East Madi Game
Amuru district challenged
the decision in Court. Former Local Government Minister Tom Butime also
declared the area part of the Adjumani district in 2017.