Civil societies demand that Gov’t sets a commission of inquiry into Apaa issues

By Wasswa Deo

A consortium of civil society organizations in Uganda has condemned the ongoing land conflicts in Amuru.

The group led by the country acting director Action Aid Uganda Christine Aboke says government must come up with a lasting solution to end cases of land conflicts in the country.

According to the joint statement they have released, they are demanding a commission of Inquiry into the land matters headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire be allowed to pursue the Apaa case  immediately and come up with concrete recommendations to address the matter.

Among other demands, the group demands that government urgently revisits its commitment to gazette the East Madi game reserve which has been a source of dispute and violent conflict over the year.

The land disputes in Apaa Parish started after part of Pabbo Sub County, in Amuru district was forcefully demarcated as part of Adjumani amidst protests from Amuru residents. The area under contention covers 20 square kilometers of land located in a contested wildlife reserve gazetted in 2002.

The consortium members say  it’s unfortunate that the conflicts are affecting more women and children who are considered to be the most vulnerable group.

The land conflicts in Apaa has resulted into 8 people losing their lives and injured more than 20 others.

However, a team of cultural leaders and government officials led by the Acholi paramount chief of Ker Kal Acholi on Thursday visited people who have been displaced at the Apaa Trading Center.

The victims have also accepted food relief that they had rejected initially.

The acceptance came after a visit by the State Minister for Primary Health Care (PHC) Joyce Kaducu who practically cooked and ate the food to confirm that it was free of poison .

According to Amuru district Chairperson Michael Lakony, the distribution will begin today, Friday, with the most vulnerable people including the elderly, injured, children and those suffering from severe hunger.

He says up to 7,000 people have been registered for food relief.