ADJUMANI, UGANDA: The clan chiefs in Amuru and Adjumani districts have unanimously resolved to work together and that the long dragging conflict over the disputed Apaa area is permanently resolved.
In a meeting held at Adjumani Multi-Purpose Training Center last week, July 23, 2022, that was supported by Action Aid and Act Alliance, the chiefs came up with a road map and want government to support the peace initiative which has the potential and possibility of attaining triumph.
The clan chief of Pabo, Rwoth Ubina Achai Agole III led a delegation of 14 people that includes; Pawel clan chief Joseph Latim and the chairman council of elders from Pagak clan, while an equal number of persons including 3 chiefs were on the team of Adjumani.
The dialogue according to Ali clan chief Chandiga Ben was inspired by the UPDF 4TH division commander Brig. Bamwiseki Bonny during a peace meeting in Zoka C area in Itirikwa Sub-county Adjumani district early this year
The Ali Clan Chief Chandiga Ben admitted that the turmoil in Apaa has affected the relationship between the Acholi and Madi communities to the extent that even relatives fear visiting their own and attending burials which is unprecedented in the history of the two neighboring tribes.
Chief Chandiga Ben, asked the chiefs to draw lesions’ from the relationship between the Acholi and Madi communities living in Elegu town council which is in Amuru district but dominated by the Madi community who are landlords and recognize they are under the administration of Amuru district local government.
He said the ancestors of the two communities lived in harmony because most of the clans in Acholi have their roots in Madi and the reverse is true and therefore see no reason for the modern generation to disrupt the deep rooted relationships’ the great grandfathers worked for.
‘’The is no difference between the Acholi and Madi communities, the difference is like letter O and figure 0 and this is what made the social fabric between the two communities very strong”. Chief Chandiga said.
The soft spoken Pabo clan chief Rwoth Ubina Achai Agole III divulged that, since the beginning of the conflict in Apaa he has been in low spirit because his chiefdom has not been consulted on the conflict that has registered several deaths and impoverished the people.
“I have personally made my own assessment and it is time to bring to order the selfish and ill willed leaders who have been fueling the crisis by preaching hate and sowing seeds of discord.
The clan chief Pawel says he believes the problem in Apaa is not the Acholi and the Madi because he has the experience of the love between the two communities and making peace without the interference of elected leaders is easy.
‘’To make peace means to tell the truth but leaders in the area are not willing to tell the truth, we know those who are breeding or fuelling the conflict but we are not acting”.
He said without noninterference from the elected leaders peace in Apaa can be achieved in a short period of time, as the politicians have taken sides and appear to be reaping from the conflict which has a undesirable spillover on the entire Acholi and Madi districts.
In his submission, the Prime minister of Pabo chiefdom Lukwiya Joseph said cultural leaders will never meddle in politics as a solution to the conflict but look at the elements of humanity because it is only God who is the provider of life and reigns over death but not a fellow human being.
Lukwiya Joseph divulged that the Acholi 311 and Madi 311 fear to stain their hands with blood and called for cooperation as a powerful instrument for achieving meaningful outcome.
The chiefs entirely agreed to isolate politicians and continue mobilizing the communities in Amuru and Adjumani for reconciliation and peace since they have for long coexisted in peace.
The Act Alliance team leader, Fiona Kyukisami informed the chiefs that they have come in to support the chiefs because they have shown the willingness to step in and have peace restored in Apaa and advised them to look for crystal clear solutions since earlier on intervention did not have impact.
‘’What is it that several stakeholders including leaders have missed that failed the peace process? These are some of the issues you should ascertain”. Fiona implied.
The conflict in Apaa started in 2006 after relative peace returned to Northern Uganda following over 20 years of incursion caused by the rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joseph Kony which forced government to restrict the population in internally displaced people’s camps [IDPS].
The closure of the IDPs led to the rush for land for settlement and Apaa which is part of East Madi Wild Life Reserve was no exception and this led to the long drawn conflict in the area which to date remains unresolved.
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