Following last Wednesday’s violent clashes between the Acholi and Madi communities over land that left four dead and 21 badly injured, the Adjumani leadership is seeking dialogue to end the bloodshed.
The Wednesday incident left more than 100 grass-thatched houses destroyed in the attack by a gang of men armed with machetes, spears, arrows and bows with an estimated number of displaced people in the two districts standing at 700.
The two communities claim ownership of the disputed 40 square kilometre land and as a result of the clashes, several people have since fled their homes.
Speaking to at least 100 residents who camped at Zoka Primary School in Itirikwa Sub-county last Friday, Adjumani District chairperson John Anyanzo said time is now for the two districts to come on the same table and talk peace for the good of the residents.
“We are more than ready to sit down and peacefully resolve the boundary problem to avoid more bloodshed of our people,” Mr Anyanzo said.
He, however, accused Amuru leadership of fuelling the conflict.
“As we talk now, the ground is very volatile, we are calling for more manpower on the ground to avoid more fights as we also seek better means of resolving the conflict,” he said.
However, the Amuru District chairperson, Mr Michael Lakony, said they cannot have dialogue with Adjumani leadership since they have been the catalyst of the endless conflict in contested Apaa land.
“The leadership of Adjumani already has interest in this land and that is why they incite their people to come and attack the Acholi this side,” he said.
He added that if Adjumani leadership wants dialogue, they should compensate for the damages and lives lost before any step is taken to have a dialogue with them.
The Itirikwa Sub-county chairperson, Mr Jesus Irinya, said they have received more than 100 families who have camped at Zoka Primary School, with more numbers pouring in.
“There are worries already because as a district, we are not in position to give the basics to residents who have fled their home thus we are asking the ministry of Disaster Preparedness to mobilise some relief items in the areas where these people have taken shelter,”
Ms Serena Mandera, a resident of Zoka village, who is now seeking refuge at Zoka School, told Daily Monitor that her hut was demolished and his livestock cut to pieces.
“My hut was burnt, 10 goats and five sheep were killed leaving me with no option but to run for my life. We need the government to come and resolve the border problem so that we regain our peace. We have lived in harmony with the Acholi people over the years and there has never been any problem. A boundary should not make us kill each other,” she said.
Mr Vincent Adupa, the officer in charge of Adjumani Police Station, told aggrieved residents that they had not yet arrested anyone in connection with the attacks but promised that they will investigate.