Deputy Speaker of Ugandan Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah in white striped shirt standing next one of the houses burnt during the inter Madi-Acholi land conflict in Apaa Township. Photo By: Okumu Langol

Madi japing for wars against Acholi as Uganda despot leader Museveni backs up land grabbing. On his arrival, Oulanyah was intimidated by a Madi native who purportedly called himself a Local Chairperson. He demanded him to sign a book and declare who sent him and for what mission.

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah came to Amuru to play games and also denied that there is no mineral deposit in Apaa.

AMURU-UGANDA: A new inter-tribal conflict has broken out, few kilometers outside the disputed Apaa Township where the government of despotic African dictator of 33 years intends to forcefully grab 827 square kilometers of people’s land in northern Uganda.

The new conflict pit the Madi ethnic group against their Acholi neighbors with whom they have co-existed and intermarried for centuries without any tension. Residents say the conflict is being engineered by bad politics of the country.

Members of the Madi ethnic group, one side in the new conflict want government to erect an inter-tribal barricade between them and the Acholi people to prevent escalating inter-tribal clashes that has displaced more than 700 people. The barricade they are asking for is akin to the Mexico Wall proposed by US President Donald Trump.

On Thursday, deputy speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah visited Juka (Zoka) Village; the epicenter of the new conflict located about 10 kilometers north of the first epicenter of a 17 year old bloody land conflict in Apaa Township. He arrived in the area at about noon as it threatened to rain and interviewed members of both sides in the conflict.

Members of the Madi ethnic group told him they want heavy military deployment of government troops, the UPDF carried out in the area to keep the Acholi from mixing with them. They said the inter-tribal border should be converted into their highway to prevent the Acholi people from stepping foot on their land.

They are part of a new group of migrants trying to force out members of the Acholi people from the area. They have excavated graves and exhumed bodies of loved ones and ancestors of the Acholi people from the area alongside destruction to homes and livelihoods.

Igama Francis, one of the residents told Oulanyah that they are forcing the Acholi people out of the area after the government of the despot handed the area to them in a controversial declaration done by Local Government Minister Tom Butime in 2016. They said the declaration means Adjumani district belongs to only original Madi inhabitants. Others said their ancestors settled in the area in 1930s.

The Deputy Speaker later heard that Igama if forcefully constructing his house in the homestead of Ojera Christopher, an Acholi native forced out of the area. Ojera’s homestead was burnt down in January this year.

Igama said he had nothing to do with the destruction of Ojera’s homestead saying his main concern is to resettle in his grandfather’s land. He claimed that they are staying alone because children had gone to school, and wives were out looking for food stuff.

Igama offered three solutions to the conflict at Zoka, first Acholi should be resettle elsewhere either in Amuru or Gulu districts. Secondly, Road should be constructed along the new Adjumani and Amuru rights from River Nile up to Elego Uganda-Sudan broader point, and buffer red line zone must be put while UPDF are to deploy to guard, and thirdly, the people of Apaa are to compensated

In Rwakitura, new makeshift buildings are rising up. Here, Oulanyah found members of the Lugbara of Aringa origin from Arua district and Madi from Moyo district constructing makeshift buildings.

In the next neighbourhood, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah and Brigadier Bonny Bamwiseki the 4th UPDF Division Commander found a young man eating food. He told them that he was three weeks old in Zoka village, but he came from Arua district, he is a casual laborer employed to build homes for new Madi and Lugbara migrants entering the area. He said he is part of many youth hired by leaders from Adjumani district to displace and take over land belonging to the Acholi people. He said their mission is to build homes in areas that the Acholi had been pushed out.

Brigadier Bamwiseki the 4th UPDF Division commander also asks the boy who was his boss, but he remained skeptical. He did not reveal who was their boss. However, he was happy to say that they don’t lack food stuff, he even pointed the big story which is full of pack food stuff that includes beans and maize’s flours and some sugar.

“When I realized that the problems that took place in Acholi Ber, I have to remove UPDF which we deployed there, now we have new group, things is okay.” Bamwiseki said.

The major problem around Apaa then was eviction by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Police Forces (UPF) and Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) which was resolved when President Museveni visited Apaa and said eviction should be stayed, Oluanyah argued.

He says his visit to Apaa, has found economic, humanitarian and human Rights violation in Zoka village.

Oulanyah when addressing journalists from the Northern Uganda Media Club in Gulu says when he conducted interview in Zoka village, children who are supposed to go to school are not going to school.

“President Museveni was dealing with forest reserve and Wildlife Game reserve, the new issue is the problems outside Apaa game reserve and forest protection areas that cover 48 Square kilometers.” Oulanyah while addressing both communities of Madi and Acholi in Zoka village argued.

Oulanyah says what he witnessed in Zoka village the huts has been destroyed, and the new settlement with iron sheets with a new construction, people are being brought into the area where old homesteads have been destroyed.

Atube, a Local Council 1 of Zoka village says the new comers from Madi and Lugbara communities who burnt his homestead are now guarding their gardens with bows and arrows.

“Even the graves from our homes are being removes and corps are burnt” Atube said.

Oulanyah says although critic say Apaa has heavy mineral, but government has ways to deal with the issues, “Government can compensate land owners, rather than displacing them.”

He told the press that there are mineral deposits in Apaa or if anyone is aware of that then they should conduct their own investigations and discover the truth. Oulanyah is the only person who was allowed to enter the disputed Apaa just days after the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP), Betty Aol Ocan and some members of parliament were blocked.

Gulu Municipality Member of Parliament, Lyandro Komakech earlier this week told journalists that there is heavy uranium deposit in Apaa according to a parliamentarian finding.

Similarly, Awuzu Wilson the Senior Urban Officer in the Department of Land Use Regulation and Compliance in the Ministry of Local Government told stakeholders in Gulu that oil and uranium deposits are only in Adjumani from entire Northern Uganda but not even Acholi Sub Region.

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