We shall defend Apaa land, says MP Akol

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The Member of Parliament for Kilak North Anthony Akol has urged the Acholi community in the disputed Apaa land in Amuru District not to allow any stranger to settle in the area.
The land in dispute is about 40 square kilometres.

Akol’s remarks follow the recent incident where some people from Adjumani District reportedly killed one Joseph Onek and burnt 104 huts leaving 50 families in Juka village, Pabbo Sub-county homeless.

Mr Akol said they will be forced to defend their land if government does not intervene to resolve the long-standing dispute which has cost lives on several occasions in the past. “I have told our people in Apaa not to welcome any stranger to the market auction and never to allow any one to settle in the area until these issues are resolved by the government,” Mr Akol said.

He said he petitioned the Prime Minister’s office in September 2016 in order to bring the conflict to the attention of government but no response has been received.

Akol wrote to the Prime Minister’s office on September 13, 2016, seeking the Premier to address the dispute on the 40 square kilometre land which is claimed by both communities on either side of the Amuru-Adjumani district boundary.

One of the affected people in the recent attack, Mr Alensio Obur, 45, told Daily Monitor that his three huts and a granary reduced were burnt down in the surprise raid by intruders in his village.

He appealed to government to help the affected residents with food relief and tents for shelter.
Another affected farmer, Richard Acaye, 36, and a father of seven said he lost three huts, groundnuts, sorghum and household items.

“We are sleeping in the cold. Children cannot go to school any more because all the scholastic materials were burnt and we have no resources at the moment to help ourselves out,” he said.
Amuru District chairman Michael Lakony, said 500 people have been displaced.

He condemned the bloodshed and warned that the violence could escalate if government does not intervene urgently.
Adjumani District chairman Mr James Leku, warned people against taking the law in their hands.

He said MP Akol should advise his electorate in Apaa to calm down in order to avert further bloodshed between the rival communities. “Government should take keen interest in Akol’s statements,” he said.

issue at hand
Background. The land in dispute was demarcated in September 2015 by the government and handed over to Adjumani District authorities following a long-standing dispute between residents and leaders in the two districts which were claiming ownership.

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