Apaa land dispute: Acholi MPs to boycott Parliament

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GULU-. A section of Legislators from Acholi Sub-region under their umbrella body, Acholi Parliamentary Group [APG], have threatened to boycott parliamentary sittings if the government doesn’t intervene immediately in the land dispute between the Acholi and the Madi communities.
The legislators have since issued a one week ultimatum to the government seeking response and solution on the unending conflicts between the two communities.
Their threats follow last week’s attacks on locals occupying the disputed Apaa land in Zoka village, Adjumani District that claimed six lives, left 21 severely wounded and more than 100 grass-thatched huts were torched.
The attackers suspected to be from the Madi community were armed with machetes, spears, bows and arrows. APG leaders made their pronouncements last Friday during a meeting with the affected communities in Apaa Trading Centre.
APG secretary general also Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya while addressing the residents, blamed the government’s non response in settling the Apaa land conflicts that has persistently led to loss of lives and properties.
“Since the government has abandoned our people, we shall also not step foot in parliament, we want the government to issue statements and solutions regarding what happened on our locals in Apaa Parish,” Mr Olanya said, drawing applause from the aggrieved locals.
Mr Olanya also noted that the government should send in relief food items, shelter and medical services to the affected communities who have been displaced as the conflict escalates.
Mr Olanya also accused the First Deputy Prime Minister Gen Moses Ali for inciting tribal conflicts between the Acholi and Madi people claiming he sponsored the attackers who killed and injured locals in Apaa parish.
“Gen Ali told me clearly that he is going to try all his best in to make sure that they get the land from the Acholi community,” he said.
Mr Olanya also alleged that it’s Gen Ali who had been brokering giveaway of the Apaa land to a South African investor who wanted to establish a sports hunting business.
Gen Ali however refuted allegations that he is sponsoring attackers in an interview with Daily Monitor last week.
He said by the time the attack took place he wasn’t in Adjumani district adding that “I am a leader in the area, I cannot indulge in such criminal acts, all that happened is being created by Amuru leaders who bare not telling their locals truth”
Ms Margaret Lamwaka, the Kitgum Woman MP, also APG member said, “Unless the conflict between the Acholi and Madi over the disputed boundary is solved fast enough, the government should not expect our participation as APG in parliamentary duties,” Ms Lamwaka vowed to fight with other leaders until the government disregards the demarcation exercise it carried in 2015 separating boundaries between Amuru and Adjumani districts that have since caused more conflicts.
An estimated 700 people are reported to have been displaced in the attack and currently camping at Apaa trading center with no shelter and food, according to local leaders.
In 2015 the government demarcated the disputed land in Amuru District as part of Adjumani, a move that has since sparked protest among the Acholi community occupying the land.

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