Parliament has resolved to set up a select committee to investigate the continued land conflict in Apaa Parish, Amuru district.
This was prompted by a statement made by the Minister of state for Internal Affairs, Hon Mario Obiga Kania on the continued conflict during plenary sitting on 5 February, 2019.
Obiga Kania said that contrary to reports, there are no unknown militias operating in the area whose presence has been brought to the attention of the security forces.
“The recent acts of evictions and fights between the communities forced some members of the Acholi community to relocate to makeshift huts within the Zoka ‘C’ area where the security forces have provided them with security,” said Obiga Kania.
He added that in July 2018, President Yoweri Museveni appointed an inter-ministerial committee led by the Prime Minister to take comprehensive efforts to resolve the conflicts and other related issues.
“The committee has made its recommendations to the President and he will make a decision,” said Obiga Kania.
The Minister of State for Veteran Affairs, Hon Bright Rwamirama also re-assured the MPs that the situation in Apaa is calm.
“I was there on 31 January and 01 February2019 and I addressed the people. The people of Amuru demanded for more security and we urged the people on either side to stay calm until government finds a solution,” said Rwamirama.
A section of MPs from Acholi however, disagreed with the statements from the Ministers, saying that they do not reflect what is happening in Apaa.
Hon. Lilly Adong (Ind. Nwoya) said that Acholi people are still in camps and suffering.
“I want to also assure the people that it is not the people of Acholi who are in Zoka forest, it is the security forces who are occupying the forest,” added Adong.
Hon. Anthony Akol (FDC, Kilak North) said it is not true that Apaa is in Zoka forest as mentioned in the Minister’s statement.
“He (Obiga Kania) also said that demarcation was done in Apaa for a boundary between Adjumani and Amuru between 07 and 11 September 2018. His statement is contradicting that of the state Minister of Lands who said that the demarcation of Apaa was done from 13 to 18 September 2015,” said Akol.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said that the minister’s statement was not satisfactory. She said there are still areas which need to be investigated.
“We have debated this issue for a long time. Therefore, in this circumstance, we shall set up a select committee to establish the truth,” said Kadaga.
In 2015, Government demarcated the boundary between Amuru and Adjumani amidst protests from the people of Amuru. The leaders of Amuru said that the process only involved people from Adjumani, and that the boundary was extended inside Amuru. Since then, the area has witnessed conflicts leading led to deaths, destruction of properties as well as displacement of people.