Apaa land killings: Survivor narrates how he survived attack in fresh war between Acholi, Madi

Mr Stephen Inyani one of the survivors of the firce dispute between Acholi, Madi over Apaa land ailing in Adjumani General Refferal Hospital (Photo/Amacha Goli)

Adjumani, (UG): By Monday evening, at least six people had been confirmed dead and 11 others severely injured in the renewed clashes between the Acholi and Madi communities living inside East Madi Wildlife Reserve which is under the protection of UWA.

The killings according to security sources occurred 55 kilometres inside the wildlife-protected area which measures 827 square kilometres but not in Apaa township as claimed by some leaders of the Acholi and Madi communities.

The deadly attack that lasted for over 4 days started on November 29, 2023 and ended on December 1, 2023, according to Mr Stephen Inyani who narrowly survived being chopped to death by the ruthless attackers.

Mr Inyani is among the 11 people who were arrested by the attackers on November 29.

Speaking to DailyExpress on Monday, December 4, from his nursing bed at Adjumani General Referral Hospital, Iyani narrates that they had gone to the market to buy some items at around 8 am when they fell in a deliberate ambush of the attackers who were armed with Machetes, bows and arrows.

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“The attackers roughed us, tied us with ropes, our arms were pinioned behind and we were then marched through the wilderness to Lakang sub-county. They robbed all our belongings, including cash Shs250,000 from my pocket”. Inyani said 

Inyani narrates that, the attackers kept meting inhuman torturer on them uncoiling vicious blows and kicks while others were chopped with panga but local leaders in Lakang sub county miraculously came to their rescue before they faced death and the police later picked them up.

The Police drove the victims to Adjumani General Referral Hospital where they were admitted since Thursday. Inyani sustained deep Panga cuts on the head and divulged that two of his colleagues succumbed to the heinous torturer as they were repeatedly stabbed with knives, speared and hit with clubs.

Mr Inyani showing a deep panga wound on his head

What Security says

The Adjumani RDC Mr Taban Peter Data, speaking to journalists yesterday, on Monday, December 4, 2023, said that three of the deceased persons came from central Uganda while three others are local farmers of Madi origin but did not give details of their names.

“Out of the six people killed, the bodies of the two people are still missing, in our findings, people entered the forest to engage in illegal charcoal burning, illegal lumbering, illegal logging illegal sale of land, we have identified some six black spot,” Taban said.

One of the deceased Mr. Drichi a resident of Lajopi Cesia village in Adjumani town was buried yesterday amid deadly curses from Madi elders as a somber mood hung on Adjumani town with mourners and several town residents condemning what they termed as a cowardly act.

Maj. Telesphur Turyamumanya, the Spokesperson of the 4th UPDF Infantry Division in Gulu said the army has deployed heavily in the area to rescue the situation.

“We have deployed both police and UPDF in the area to beef up security, we appeal to the community to remain calm as joint security forces carry out investigations to find out what caused the deadly attacks,” Telesphur stated.

Government blamed for laxity

The Adjumani district LC5 Chairperson, Mr. Ben Anyama scolded the government for taking long to resolve the conflict in Apaa adding that the government must take responsibility for the persons killed in the area.

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“It is very unfortunate that our people have lost their lives, I want to call upon the president and the minister of justice and constitutional affairs to resolve the conflict in the shortest time possible because the people of Madi and Acholi have endured the pain for long, ” Anyama said

Anyama said. “Government should not renege on its decision if they want to give the land to Acholi let them do it now because the people of Madi wailed and mourned until they can endure no more, yet in 2002, the district council of Adjumani in a show of patriotism offered the land to UWA for conservation”.

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