Kadaga Directs OPM to Support the Displaced in Apaa

The displaced of Apaa: Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed Office of the Prime Minister(OPM) to offer immediate assistance to those displaced from their homes

The speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed Office of the Prime Minister to immediately support thousands of people recently displaced in Apaa, Amuru district with food aid and shelter.

Some 2,100 people mostly women and children fled their homes after unknown people armed with Machete, spears, bows and arrows attacked them and razed down 48 huts in Juka B village on January 18.

Another attack by elements suspected to be from Adjumani district on January 23 left five people injured in Goro B village with more than 500 forced to flee their homes, leading to an impromptu Internally Displaced People’s Camp in Juka trading center.

Ms Kadaga while chairing plenary on Thursday pointed out that the absence of government in Apaa has left a vacuum in the ongoing conflict on a chunk of land claimed by both Amuru and Adjumani district.

The speaker called on the minister of internal affairs Kania Obiga to inform parliament on what is happening in Apaa.  Mr Obiga said the government will make a statement before parliament next week. The minister however acknowledged that 8 people were arrested from Apaa and where being detained in Adjumani while a juvenile, also among those had been arrested, has been moved to a facility for juveniles in Arua.

Mr Obiga promised government support for the people of Apaa after a verification has been conducted.

“If our people are suffering and they need some support that needs urgent attention after verification,” Mr Obiga told Parliament on Thursday.

But in her response Ms Kadaga directed for urgent need by the OPM and Internal affairs Ministry to intervene and address the plight of those affected by the crisis.

“Office of the prime minister is directed to go and support the people who are displaced who have no food and probably have no shelter, this is urgent.. I also direct that Ministry of internal affairs ensures that there is security and those injured be treated,” Ms Kadaga said.

Kilak South Legislator in Amuru Gilbert Olanya yesterday told the Speaker that another fresh attack commanded by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers and UPDF soldiers was waged on the locals in Acholi Ber and Punu Dyang were several huts were torched.

Speaking to Acholi Times in a telephone interview Friday, Mr Olanya said the Acholi Parliamentary Group is contemplating a visit to Apaa next week.

“We want to visit the locals and find what is on the ground. We also have donation inform of food for 600 households that we intend to give out to the affected persons,” he said.

Since 2012, Apaa has been a hotbed of violent clashes between the Acholi and Madi ethnic groups, with each claiming ownership of the strip of fertile piece of land that is estimated to be around 860 square kilometers.

Uganda Wildlife Authority [UWA] and National Forestry Authority [NFA] also claims the land as East Madi Wildlife Game Reserve and Zoka Central Forest respectively.

An estimated 26,000 people are currently settled on the disputed land

In December  last year, a negotiation meeting chaired by Dr Rugunda over the contentious land hit a snag after leaders from both Acholi and Adjumani District failed to agree on President Museveni’s options of ending their long-running wrangle.