Adjumani- Three people have died while 21 others are nursing severe injuries following a Wednesday morning attack waged by unknown armed men on residents occupying the disputed Apaa land in Juka village, Adjumani District.
The land at the centre of controversy was demarcated in September 2015 by the government and handed to Adjumani District local government.
The attack comes two months after one person was killed and more than 130 huts burnt by armed thugs in March in the area.
Mr Michael Lakony, the Amuru District chairperson, confirmed the death of the three people in a telephone interview with Daily Monitor on Thursday.
He identified the deceased as Nyeko Openy Saihidi and Bosco Okwera Oringa who were killed on Wednesday morning by attackers armed with machetes, spears and bows and arrows.
He said another man, whose identity wasn’t readily got by press time, was discovered dead with deep cut wounds on the head and hands in a nearby bush in Apaa parish on Thursday morning.
Mr Lakony said the remains of Shahidi and Oringa are currently at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital morgue waiting for postmortem tests while the other unidentified man’s body was yet to be transported to Gulu Town by press time.
He added that 21 people mostly peasant farmers and businessmen sustained severe injuries and are receiving medical treatment at St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu Town and Paboo Health Centre III in Amuru District respectively.
He said more than 60 grass thatched huts have been torched down while several hectares of food crops destroyed in the attacks.
Mr Lakony castigated the government for its failure to respond to the fights that has been persistently carried by unknown people since the beginning of the year.
“The attack has been on-going more than once but the government hasn’t responded in anyway. We believe this could be a deliberate plan by the government using locals armed with spears to scare away those settling on the disputed piece of land,” Mr Lakony said.
He noted that despite the demarcation of the land, the affected people have the right to stay on the land in which they had previously been occupying.
He, however, called on the affected community to stay calm arguing that they should desist from retaliating.
Mr Lakony said more than 1,000 residents are in dire need of help since they fled their homes in Apaa Trading Centre for fear of losing their lives.
The Kilak North Member of Parliament, Mr Anthony Akol, whose constituency borders the affected area, said he is arranging for a meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, on possible ways of ending the conflicts.
Mr Akol, however, accused the First Deputy Prime Minister also the Member of Parliament for Adjumani West County, Gen Moses Ali of sponsoring the attackers.
Gen Ali denies
But when contacted, Gen Ali denied the allegation and instead faulted Mr Akol and other leaders in Amuru District for lying to the local people about their boundary of settlement.
He said his efforts to dialogue with the local leaders in the district on several occasions have been futile adding that the leaders always shun his meeting citing he has interests in the land.