UGANDA: GENERAL MUSEVENI SETS PROBE COMMITTEE INTO APAA LAND SAGA, "APOLOGIZES"

-A +A
0

Apaa residents who camped in the compound of UN-OHCHR on July 11, 2018

“As the community of Apaa, we only wish to live peacefully on our land. Violent attempts to evict our people from this area started after the area of Apaa was supposedly gazzetted as East Madi Game Reserve, a process that took place illegitimately while our people were relocated to Internally Displaced Persons’ camps during the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict” – Apaa residents petition.

“I am sorry about your sufferings. These were, however caused by your leaders. They have specialized in telling lies, but God is there and we shall find solutions” – General Museveni.

 

GULU-UGANDA: General Yoweri Museveni has set up a 17-member probe committee headed by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, to look into the Apaa land saga which forced a total of 234 residents to take refuge in the compound of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (UN-OHCHR) in Gulu.

The residents trekked for more than 150 kilometers, over 93 miles, from Apaa to Gulu and stayed in the compound of UN-OHCHR from July 11-August 16, 2018.

In their petition to the High Commissioner then, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the residents requested that the body investigate the Uganda government for human rights abuses meted out on them, including killings, torching of homes, destruction of crops and theft of personal properties by security forces during their eviction from the contested 1,702 square kilometers land.

According to General Museveni, 827 square kilometers of land out of the 1,702 square kilometers had been gazzetted into East Madi Game Reserve by parliament in 2002 on a request by Adjumani district.

However, the locals insist this is their ancestral land located in Amuru district. They accuse the government of trying to grab it but government says this is a game reserve and that the land is in neighboring Adjumani district.

The petition also requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to impress upon Uganda government the urgent need to immediately halt attacks on the people and to respect the 2012 court injunction stopping evictions.

In another petition to the Speaker of Parliament and various diplomatic missions accredited in Uganda dated August 6, 2018, the residents of Apaa complained that the government had maintained silence during their ordeal despite the office of the UN-OHCHR brining the matter to government’s attention.

“As the community of Apaa, we only wish to live peacefully on our land. Violent attempts to evict our people from this area started after the area of Apaa was supposedly gazzetted as East Madi Game Reserve, a process that took place illegitimately while our people were relocated in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict,” says part of the petition to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.

General Museveni visited the contested area on Wednesday August 22, 2018 during which time he expressed remorse for the sufferings of the people. He however blamed local political leaders for "telling lies" to the local community over the dispute.

“I am sorry about your sufferings. These were, however caused by your leaders. They have specialized in telling lies, but God is there and we shall find solutions”, says Mr. Museveni.

 General Museveni also appointed Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana- Rugunda to lead a 17-member committee of leaders of both Madi and Acholi sub-regions to investigate complains of the residents of Apaa in order to find a common ground of resolving the saga. Each side, from Madi and Acholi, will nominate eight people to the committee.

Museveni offered three possibilities: first, that leaders should decide whether some of the affected people within the gazzetted area can be relocated in the Acholi sub-region and compensated.

The second option is that the Acholi people who have been on the land since 1963 and 2006 be allowed to settle on the disputed land; but that they should be restricted from expansion into other parts of the disputed area.

The third option, according to Museveni is that the portion of the land nearer to the populated Adjumani district be allocated for the locals to settle outside the gazzetted area.

According to the Prime Minister of Ker Kwaro Acholi, Mr. Ambrose Olaa, the Acholi team will be composed of Mr. Michael Lakony (Amuru LCV chairman), Hon. Anthony Akol (MP- Amuru North), Ms. Gladys Oyat (Headteacher) and Dr. Daniel Komakech (Gulu University). Others are Mr. Dan Kidega (Former Speaker of East African Parliament), Prof. Elizabeth Opiyo (Gulu University), Mr. Julius Ojok (lawyer) and Mr. Mathew Okello (surveyor).  

The committee will have an advisory committee of 10 members; Rwot David Onen-Acana, Archbishop Dr. John Baptist Odama, Sheik Musa Khelil, Rwot Jakeo Acaye (Pabbo) Hon. Lucy Akello (Amuru MP), Mr. John Livingstone Okello-Okello, Mr. Sabino Ocan, Dr. J.J. Oloya, Ambrose Olaa (Acholi PM) and Mr. Jackson Omona (LCV chairman).  

The Madi team will be composed of Dr. Esukuru Robert, Prof. Sister Dominica Dipio, Office of LCV Adjumani, Ms. Harriet Mesiku, Mr. Lawrence Akuti, Ms. Suru Baro, Mr. Moses Kibirai and Prof. Christine Dranzoa. 

According to Mr. Olaa, the office of the Prime Minister will set their Terms of Reference on Thursday August 30, 2018 and they have up to three weeks to submit their reports to General Museveni.       

 

Also Check Out...

GRACE JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL
Trinidadian-Canadian Poet Dionne
Uganda Community Farm Organization
Trailblazing Innovative “Boys n
Lost Live Restored Recordings Of
GUNMAN SHOT BY POLICE OUTSIDE