Global Politics


Chairman Acholi Parliamentary Group calls for Government intervention on Apaa

The latest on slaughter between Madi raiders and counter attack by Acholi community in Apaa left more than hundreds dead.

Security lacking in Apaa enclave, Amuru District, Northern Uganda, Acholi leaders call for the government to stop the barbaric killing. 

BY Okumu Livingstone Langol &Okot Lil Rome (The Guardian News


The Chairman Amuru Local Government warned the government not to allow Madi to continue killing Acholi people living in Apaa enclave, on Tuesday, Feb, 2024 a massacre of 18 people including two women were found dead with kids behind their back.

Lack of security personnel in Apaa left 4 dead a week ago, many injured as a result of barbaric Madi community recent attack Acholi community claiming that they are inferior group of people.

The investigative correspondent reporter discussed with Local Council V Chairperson of Amuru District in an interview while at the scene of crime after an attack by the Madi community, narrating how inferior people launched their attacked-on Acholi community.

Michael Lakony, the Chairman Local Council V of Amuru District, said the fight in Apaa land is due to many greedy hearts from Government as a result of their selfish interest over the disputed land, it has been reported that minerals deposits have been located in the area, they are using Madi community as tools to open way to help in fulfilling their interest.

“The Army commander of the UPDF 4thDivision, Brigadier General Michael Kabango and Battalion commander 501 headed by “Lt. Col Kenneth Burugu Ahimbisbwe who control Amuru and Adjumani are being misinformed by the Madi leadership on issue of Apaa land conflict as a result of Government strategy to fulfill their selfish interest, Lakony said.

However, Michael Lakony, met the 4thDivision commander and the Battalion Commander 501, in their usual ping-pong assurance, they said more UPDF soldiers and Police will be deployed along the channel where the Madi community launch attack on Acholi community.

“More than 150 people died and many injured in an attack by the Madi community, but no proper investigation, no arrest took place to bring the culprits to justice by Government of Uganda they are silent up to dateMichael Lakony revealed.

He further disclosed that many local people in the Apaa community are sleeping in the bush fearing another attack by the barbaric Madi inferior group who want to launch another attack on them.

Adding to that, the current total population in Apaa is over 46,000 Acholi local community occupying a total of 818 Square kilometers of land, but unfortunately Government has denied the people their health services, educational services calming that the land is in a Game Reserve. The community is only benefiting from outreach health services given to the local community by NGOs.

The inferior Madi community always use Zoka Forest and Zoka River to launch their attacks on our people.

I would like to appeal to our brothers and sisters to be organized and not to panic during this hard situation. He said if we defeated the war of Lord Resistance Army (LRA) Vs UPDF Government for over 25 years we shall as well overcome this.

Gilbert Olanya accused the government of Uganda of siding with the Madi community using them to grab the land.

Yesterday Wednesday Feb, 28 we wanted to raise the issue of Apaa on the floor of Parliament, but Speaker Anita Amongi deferred it to another day, we are going to meet the Speaker of Parliament again.

The issues of Apaa is escalating because the government is not interested to handle, “we are going to organize our community”. We lost over 150 people in cold blood in attack, many of our people are still pending in prison, 15 were arrested and charged with murder and yet Madi people who are still killing Acholi people and have never been arrested., we are going to stand with our people who are in Adjumani District charged with murder.

However, we have not confirmed the types of minerals in Apaa, but surveyors who came from the Ministry of Land and Mineral confirmed that Apaa was found to have a number of minerals like Uranium, oil and gas in largest deposit, when we asked them for the details, they referred us to the government.

The local community leader of Apaa

Okoya Charles, a zonal leader of 36 villages, Local Councilors one(LC1) based in Apaa, says they received information about the visitation from UPDF 4 Division Commander Bridger General Michael Kabango in Apaa he narrates.

As they mobilized the community to open the road on that fateful day, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, the community gathered and went to open the road. But, before people reach designation where actual work should be commence. The Madi community informed one of UPDF soldiers living nearby, and the man came with a gun and put up a roadblock.

When the Acholi community reported the incident to UPDF barrack 501 battalion and Uganda Police Force units nearby, a Uganda Police officer came and stopped Madi army officer who had mounted an illegal road block.

Later on, the community proceeded with the road work. However, the mob from the Madi community came and arrested three boda boda men and tied them to the tree, two women escaped and reported the incident to other Acholi people who had moved a distance with the road work.

When a report was made to them, they raced to the scene and found three people who were arrested and tied them to trees, those people were rescued, but Madi people who live around the area were beaten by the mob, when they found some of their members missing.

“In fact, within two last weeks of February, over 5 people hailing from Acholi community were killed in cold blooded during this escalating attack by Madi people at Asuite village north of Pabbo sub county Amuru district” Okoya revealed.

He further says Madi people who attacked Acholi community in Apaa later came on a rampant act burning grass thatch hurts which left 300 grass thatched houses burnt down by errant inferior Madi community.

Note that others were being transported by the Government Vehicles and motorcycles and UG number plate to launch attack and move open without fear of security personnel, no arrest has yet been made for them to face justice.

Mr. Okoya appealed to the Government for immediate response on over this barbaric killing of his people. Otherwise one day if decide to launch a revenge, they will not like it and the Government should not take side and arrest the Acholi community. He appealed and warned the Government.

Comment from the MPs from Adjumani district.

James Mamawi, MP for Adjumani East county, when contacted in a phone interview, disclosed that from what he knows, the leaders from Acholi Sub Region have been organizing people to attack our people in Apaa, they don’t want to tell the truth that the area is in Adjumani District.

Say even the map is showing that Apaa is in Adjumani district. But Acholi MPs want to exercise their power to extend it up to their area, “for us we are not going to mobilize our people against the Acholi people”.

As MPs from Adjumani we have tried to raise the issues on the floor of Parliament, no response is taken to discuss issues of Apaa even Acholi MPs have tried to raise the issues on the floor of Parliament, but the Speaker does not allow issues to be discussed only the president can handle this matter.

Okumu Ronald Reagan, the former MP for Aswa County, Gulu District during Gurre Me Pongdwongo aka Kacoke Madit (Great Acholi meeting in Pongdwongo Sir Samuel Baker) last year on December 27, 2023. In his narrative he gave a background how Gen. Moses Ali, the Minister of Tourism in 2009, Gen Moses Ali called on Gulu District Council meeting in Gulu and tabled before them that they should pass Gulu District Council resolution to de-gazette Aswa Oli-lim and East Madi former Game Reserved to be a Wildlife Game Hunting ground.

However, the Acholi District rejected the proposed plan by Gen. Moses Ali, but later he went to Adjumani District Council and called for the District Council which later convened and passed the District Council resolution, which was adopted.

Later, Gen. Moses Ali went and tabled the Adjumani District Council resolution which was passed by the then 8th Parliament that re-gazetted former East Madi and Aswa Oli-lim to be a Wildlife Game Hunting ground. Which the Government gave to Martin Bruce as a Wildlife Game Hunting ground.

Okumu Reagan alluded that problems in Apaa is not the conflict between Madi community and Acholi, but Gen. Moses Ali who is instigating tribal conflict as a political tool.

“Madi and Acholi people have been living in Apaa, Elego and Adjumani since time immemorial without conflict. The goons who are causing death in Apaa between Acholi and Madi are hired by Gen. Moses Ali, who are majorly Madi from South Sudan and people from Koboko District.” Okumu Reagan revealed.

Kidega Michael, one of security personnel from Gulu City said on record in confidence says, on Wednesday 28, Feb, 2024. Okoya, the Local Councilor 1 from Apaa called him and complained that since Sunday, Feb, 25, 2024. The people who had been killed by Madi people were still rotting in the bushes in Apaa. Their families failed to collect the dead bodies.

“I was forced to contact Brigadier Gen. Kabango Michael 4TH Division Commander to allow the bodies of slain Acholi people to be taken for burial by their relatives, because relatives had complained that Uganda Police Forces, UPDF officers refused to remove the corpse of those people from the bush”.

Adding to that, when he confronted Brigadier Gen. Kabango he was reluctant to intervene in the conflict.

However, Brigadier Gen. responded that they are investigating those people who have been killed from Apaa and why their bodies are taken for burial either in Gulu District, Amuru or Kitgum districts.

Chairman Acholi Parliamentary Group calls for Government intervention on Apaa

Okot John Amos, MP for Agago North, who also doubles as Chairman Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG), while addressing media at Northern Uganda Media Club gave the following comments. We have fresh information over the killing in Apaa, many people are aware of the Apaa conflict, even the president is aware.

As of now killing in Apaa is still continuing, about 8 villages are being invaded by Madi inferior attackers; Kal Acut, Acholi Ber, Rwot Oromo, Oyaga village, Patira village, Oloyo Village and Goro village, which are severely being attacked. They don’t attack trading centers, they attack only the villages, burning huts and later building their own.

Look at those people who are being killed. The government is only interested in land; they have left our people to face UPDF who are being dressed in civilian clothes to arrest them.

We, the MPs from Acholi Sub Region, cannot reach Apaa, because The government has put a road block on the road leading to Apaa, blocking it when we want to go to there.

Since 2012 when the Apaa incident started more than 200 people have been killed, when we bring their numbers together this is massacre.

Let the government remove all UPDF soldiers deployed in Apaa, Uganda Police Forces, and all security apparatus, they are doing nothing. All social sectors are not functioning in Apaa, no Health facility, no education facilities. We request international bodies like the UNHCR, International Committee of Red Cross, and World Vision to come and rescue the situation in Apaa.

As leaders of the Acholi community we shall take a deeper step to meet leaders of Adjumani to have discussion with them and resolve the matter.

“God is looking at those who are killing Acholi people, I don’t want to incite violence, don’t take law into your hand, I want to appeal to the Acholi community for peace and harmony.” Okot notes.

Uganda army response

Captain Kato Ahmad Hassan, spokesperson for Uganda People Defence Forces, UPDF 4th Division at Gulu Barracks in his response said. We have made some reinforcement in North of Pabbo to monitor the situation, we appeal for further loyalty as we bring normalcy.

“As UPDF, we appeal to both communities of Acholi and Madi living in Apaa both of them to cease violence in all the areas, we also request the people living in Apaa to cooperate and provide security and provide with information timely. As UPDF we are going to provide general security to all areas of Apaa until the violence stops.

In 2015, Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadega ruled that there is a need to carry out a fact-finding mission before a resolution is made.

The Apaa contested land covers 40 square kilometers and in 2017, Local Government Minister Tom Butime handed over Apaa to Adjumani District officials in Labala parish under heavy security deployment. The Adjumani people were jubilating over the handover ceremony.

On Monday, 18, March 2024 with the join Forces of UPDF and Uganda Police Forces UPF operating in the general areas of Apaa and Pakele issued a joint statement to Media that they have arrested suspected Madi and Acholi youths in connection with the recent spate of violence in the land conflicts between the two communities in Adjumani District. They stated that on March, 7, 2024 while operating in Pakele Sub County they intercepted and arrested Mr. Guma David Moti aged 40 years old. He was found in possession of 15 bows and arrows.

We therefore call upon the public of the conflict affected areas of Adjumani to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity in their locations to the joint security teams before harm is done on their lives and property, Kato concluded.

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