Back home: Apaa locals begs NGOs, public for relief

Part of the Apaa locals returning home. Photo by Denis Otti.

After spending one month and some days at UN offices in Gulu town for safety, the 234 Apaa locals have finally returned home, Tuesday.

This follows forceful eviction by UPDF, Uganda Police and Uganda Wildlife Authority from the land they had settled in last month.

In that exercise, their crop gardens, houses were set ablaze and others lost their animals and poultry to men in uniform who were executing State’s assignment.

On return home, they appealed to Non Governmental Organization and well wishers to provide them with relief items like tents and cooking materials. 

The chairperson of Apaa residents, Wilson Acuma says, over two hundred houses was burned with all household items like saucepans, utensils among others. 

The Aker sub-village women chairperson Agnes Atenyo says, at the time they were forcefully evicted from their lands, almost all their household items were burned and as they returned, they have no shelter, no food to cook among other primary necessities. 

She, on behalf of hundreds who returned home appeals to the well wishers to come to their rescue. 

Margaret Aciro, 50, a resident of Punu Dyang who returned with 234 other colleagues who had camped at UN Gulu offices says, all her clothes were burned when her house was razed down

Aciro has no utensils two cook food for her seven children whose father was killed during the violent attacks. 

The Gulu cluster Actionaid manager, Moses Okello says as Civil Society Organizations and NGOs, they would hold a reflection meeting with United Nations to address the urgent need of relief to the affected residents. The date and venue for this meet is yet to be fixed.

Meanwhile, Kilak North MP Anthony Akol says he is going to seek the assistance of the Office of the Prime Minister [OPM] through Parliament. 

“Over 1000 people need urgent relief ranging from temporary house structures, utensils, cooking materials, clothes and medicine – especially women and children,” he added. 

Last month, the locals accuse government entities for human right violation citing torture, destruction of livelihoods with at least 18 people killed and many others are missing.

Okeonga David, one of the victims expressed his happiness on return home but argued government to speed up any arrangement of aiding them.

Many expressed dismay at UPDF and police for staging a road block which delayed their arrival for four hours on Tuesday.

This was done as President Museveni was expected in the area but he didn’t arrive.

Apaa is at the heart of a bitter land boundary conflict between Adjumani and Amuru districts.

Reporting by Denis Otti and Michael Ojok.

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