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High Court Stops NFA from Evicting Lira Families

National Forestry Authority in January 2016, ordered the affected people to vacate the piece of land measuring approximately 210 hectares in Abalokare, Dogikore and Amoilela villages in Amoilela parish, Bala Sub County. They were accused of alleged trespass on the reserve.
Lira high court has issued an interim order restraining National Forestry Authority and local leaders of Kole and Apac districts from evicting over 56 households from a contentious forest reserve in Bala Sub County.

National Forestry Authority in January 2016, ordered the affected people to vacate the piece of land measuring approximately 210 hectares in Abalokare, Dogikore and Amoilela villages in Amoilela parish, Bala Sub County. They were accused of alleged trespass on the reserve.

However, the families filed a case seeking for a stay of their eviction saying they have been occupying the contested land since 1940.

On the basis of the file, High Court Deputy Registrar Cissy K Mudashi stopped National Forestry Authority and its agents  from carrying out any activity in the said land unless with court orders. The order further states that the 56 households be restored back to the land pending the determination of their main suit.

However, in its defense following the suit, the legal department of the National Forestry Authority-NFA argued that the contested land was declared a forest reserve in 1994.

 

NFA also noted that following the eviction notice, the affected households opted for a negotiated settlement involving their leaders. The matter was then subjected to a mediation process facilitated by Phiona Nanyonga, a mediator at Lira High Court.

But in her report to court, Nanyonga said the matter was not resolved conclusively and the parties instead opted to handle it legally. However, before the matter is resolved NFA went head to expel the residents.

 

Qirinus Oyugi Onono, a lawyer representing the residents told URN that NFA risks further charges if it persists with the eviction.  

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