ADJUMANI DISTRICT, UGANDA: Leaders in Adjumani are protesting the directives of President Yoweri Tibahahura Museveni on Appa land following a meeting with 9 key leaders from the Acholi sub-region on August 14, 2021, at Nakasero state house Kampala.
The directives among others include; immediate investigations into the reported recent violence of Apaa in Adjumani which is being disputed by Acholi leaders, Adjumani, Amuru border issue, eviction from Zoka forest.
In a tense press briefing held at the district council board room this morning tough, talking Adjumani district chairman Anyama Ben said the directive of the President was premised on misleading information from leaders in the Acholi sub-region which is not the reflection of the situation on the ground.
Anyama Ben clarified that nobody was killed in Appa and that the people of Appa, have co-existed peacefully since the 2017 clashes and challenged the president to constitute an independent committee to investigate the wild allegations of the leaders in the Acholi sub-region.
On the Judicial Commission of Enquiry to be headed by the senior judge to find a permanent solution on the issue of the border of Amuru and Adjumani, Chairman Anyama Ben, said the people of Adjumani can never trust a senior Judge who works under the supervision of Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dolo who is an aggrieved party in the matter.
He accused powerful leaders in Acholi like; Speaker of parliament Oulanya Jacob, NRM Secretary General, Todwong Richard, State minister for environment Anyar Beatrice, and Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dolo among others of using their powers to arm-twist the people of Adjumani so that they will easily grab Appa land which he noted is gross abuse of authority and will be vehemently resisted.
In the light of the confusion caused by what he termed blatant lies that were orchestrated by the leaders in Acholi Chairman, Anyama Ben promised to lead the leaders in the Madi sub-region to meet the president to the account of their side.
The Ali clan chief Chandiga Ben, divulged that the Kilak North county MP Akol Anthony and other key Acholi leaders wants East Madi Wild Life Reserve[EMWLR]de degazzeted in order to benefit from land grabbing.
He said the wildlife-protected area was gazetted between 1950 and 1963 under parliamentary legal notice number 352 and named East Madi Controlled Hunting Area and covered 1702 kilometer square.
Chief Chandiga Ben further explained that in 2001, Adjumani district after consultation with Uganda Wild Life Authority [UWA] passed a resolution reducing the size of the reserve to 827 kilometers square and parliament passed a resolution on May 2, 2002, remaining the reserve, East Madi Wild Life Reserve up to date.
Another clan chief Suru Baru-Simon of Pakele clan accused the Acholi leaders of being specialists in propaganda, he said there are no Madi encroachers’ in Appa which is part of the wildlife reserve except that in their greed for land some Acholi leaders are claiming parts of Zoka and Mungula parishes where Acholi communities have settled giving them new Acholi names.
Chief Suru Baru believes the only solution lies in evicting all the encroachers’ on the wildlife reserve and the equation of land will be settled since the 1995 constitution clearly states that land belongs to the people.
The chairman Adjumani district elders forum Vuson Paulino argues that at the time of Uganda’s independence Madi district that later gave birth to Adjumani district was one of the 19 districts alongside Acholi and others districts in Uganda.
Vuson Paulino said since then external borders on the 19, mother district were never adjusted rather internal boundaries were created to create new districts adding that the border question between Amuru and Adjumani has been answered a long time ago.
Spirals of violence erupted in the Apaa area since 2011, as offensives and counter-offensives ruled the two communities of Madi and Acholi in the area which hit a climax on July 7, 2017, where deadly arrow shooting Madi youth killed scores of the Acholi community attackers.