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RDC Orders Arrest UWA Commander Over Shooting of Truck Driver in Apaa

According to eyewitnesses, Opio was shot dead while fleeing from his truck registration number UAU 932G whose front tyres had been deflated by the rangers.

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Moses Mugweri, the Adjumani Deputy Resident District Commissioner has ordered the arrest of the Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA Commander who led the operation in Apaa where a truck driver was gunned down and two other people were injured.  

The truck driver identified as Denis Labista Opio and resident of Lacor center in Gulu City was shot dead on Friday by a UWA ranger, a few meters from the security checkpoint in Apaa for allegedly carrying unspecified sacks of charcoal from Apaa market to Gulu City.   

Two women were injured in the shooting and are admitted at St, Mary Lacor clinic in Amuru trading center. According to eyewitnesses, Opio was shot dead while fleeing from his truck registration number UAU 932G whose front tyres had been deflated by the rangers. 

Now, Moses Mugweri, the Adjumani Deputy Resident District Commissioner, says that he has summoned the UWA leadership in the district to avail the details of the UWA commander and ranger who shot the deceased driver and two female passengers for prosecution. 

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In a previous interview, Michael Lakony, the Amuru District LC V Chairperson called for the arrest of the UWA rangers for trial.

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Tony Olinga, the East Madi Wildlife Reserve Conservation Manager declined to comment on the incident and instead referred URN to UWA Communications Manager, Bashir Hangi who also declined to speak. Opio’s body had been taken to the 4th division barracks mortuary pending postmortem at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

There has been an ongoing conflict between UWA, National Forestry Authority-NFA and Apaa residents over a piece of land since 2015. There have been several clashes between the Acholi and Madi communities over the disputed Apaa boundary.  

Last year, while in Apaa, President Yoweri Museveni ordered that the status quo be maintained until a team chaired by Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament finds an amicable solution to the dispute.