Residents of the contested Apaa want the Government to revoke
their annexation to Adjumani District.
Apaa is now considered part of Adjumani District after a map drawn
by the British imperialists in 1911 found the contested area that is home to
over 10,000 residents part of East Madi Game Reserve.
This follows a recent spate of deadly violent attacks against the
Acholi community by unknown people purportedly Madi people from neighbouring
Ititikwa Sub-County in Adjumani District, that left two residents dead and
Maorian Okumu, the Apaa sub-village chairperson says that they are
constantly living in fear on the land that they have occupied for decades
following the attacks on their settlements by some people from Madi.
Okumu contends that their annexation to Adjumani was a disservice
to them yet before the changes, they were peacefully benefiting from social
services like education and treatment from Amuru District Local Government.
Santo Okot, another resident argues that since 1982 when he was
born, he has known Apaa as their cradle home. He says that the decision to
annex them to Adjumani was selfish and will brew unending conflicts between the
Madi and Acholi.
//Cue in..."Atye ka neno….”
Cue out…ada ii Apaa”//
Last week leaders from Acholi sought an audience with President
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to intervene and pronounce himself on Apaa to bring the deadly
conflict that dates back to February 2002 to an end.
Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Chairperson of Local Government
Accounts Committee and MP for Gulu West Division who was part of the team that
met the President observed that the Apaa conflict leaves people with a lot of
suspicions against the Government for lack of political will to end the bloodshed
//Cue in..."We are tempted….”
Cue out…the citizens go?”//
To date, at least 20 people have been killed and dozens injured as
a result of deadly sporadic clashes between the Uganda Wildlife Authority –
UWA, Acholi in Amuru and Madi people from neighbouring Adjumani.
In 1973, the government resolved to allow Apaa residents to return
and occupy their ancestral land. However, the outbreak of the 20-year Lord’s
Resistance Army war from 1986 to 2002 forced people into displaced camps.
In 2002, while people were still in camps, Parliament gazetted
Apaa a wildlife reserve. Consequently, Adjumani District Local Council resolved
to designate it the East Madi wildlife conservation area.
Following an end to the LRA conflict, the regulation threatened
the resettlement process after the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) made several
hostile attempts to block the inhabitants from returning to their land.