Forced Evictees in Northern Uganda Entitled to a Remedy--Human Rights Watch

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Over the past week and a half, about 200 people from the northern Uganda village of Apaa have traveled 100 kilometers to the town of Gulu seeking safety – and help – after Ugandan soldiers allegedly torched their homes. They have turned to the United Nations for assistance with their plight, and are camped at the offices of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

In a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, local leaders from Apaa allege that since late 2017 soldiers have “burned over 800 houses, caused three deaths, and perpetrated countless severe beatings of Apaa residents.” They ask the OHCHR to engage with the Ugandan government to end the attacks and to compensate victims for injuries and loss of homes and property.

For many years, Apaa has been awash with contentious land disputes. The Ugandan army, alongside wildlife and forestry authorities, has carried out evictions for several years, claiming their actions are justified because the government set the area aside as a game and forest reserve.

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