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Police Maintains Presence on Disputed Soroti Land

Five bailiffs were severely injured when residents put up a spirited fight against an eviction order issued on May 22, by Justice David Batema. The order followed a petition filed by Moses Elogu, Petero Epalu, Joseph Eunyu, Charles Ajaku, Julius Otaya, Samwiri Eletu and Stephen Ewidu against one John Wabwire.

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There is a heavy police presence in Merok Village, Katine Sub County, Soroti district, the centre of a recent fight between court bailiffs and the community over a disputed piece of land.

Five bailiffs were severely injured when residents put up a spirited fight against an eviction order issued on May 22, by Justice David Batema.  The order followed a petition filed by Moses Elogu, Petero Epalu, Joseph Eunyu, Charles Ajaku, Julius Otaya, Samwiri Eletu and Stephen Ewidu against one John Wabwire.

The court ordered the residents who had filed the petition be evicted forcefully from land covering more than 80 acres.   But Patrick Sseno, the Managing Partner of Chap-Chap General Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs explains that instead, the bailiffs met machete-wielding residents as soon as they arrived at the land in question.

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Sseno explains that the bailiffs, together with the court bailiffs had opted to withdraw from the exercise after sensing danger. However, the residents were already charged and could not let them go. As result, a number of them were attacked and left with deep wounds. Among the injured were Wabwire's relatives and Robert Ecuru, a driver whose pickup had been hired to transport the bailiffs. The vehicle was set ablaze by the mob.

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Today, Michael Odongo, the East Kyoga police spokesperson told URN that a number of police detectives have been dispatched to Merok village to gather information about the attack.

"The detectives have been assigned to get some statements from local residents and stakeholders with a view of identifying the key persons who participated unlawfully during the failed land eviction exercise, Odongo said. 

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