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Since Apaa land conflict started in 2017, reports say eighteen lives have been lost with over 200 residents sustaining different type of injuries.
Besides, over 844 houses have been demolished or set ablaze my security and other government agencies.
This further birthed tribal clashes between Acholi and Madi community who all claimed the contested Apaa land belongs to them.
Recently, more than 234 residents who were evicted by UPDF, Police and Uganda Wildlife Authority’s law enforcement officers took refuge at United Nations [UN] offices in Gulu town.
They stayed there for one month and days before they voluntarily agreed it was enough for them to return ‘home’.
According to a report from Gulu NGO Forum, a consensus was arrived at – among them a guarantee that there would be no more eviction, harassment of the locals by government forces, among other resolutions.
Now, in trying to settle the land grievances between Acholi and Madi community including leaders from the two tribes, President Museveni is in Gulu to meet leaders.
Our Gulu based reporter, Denis Otii reports that Mr. Museveni will meet religious, cultural and political leaders from his State Lodge before traveling to Apaa on Wednesday to meet the 234 residents who last week returned ‘home’ after month of abode at UN offices in Gulu town.
“The President is already here [Gulu] to meet both Acholi and Madi leaders. Later, he will travel to meet the victims,” TND News Uganda’s Denis Otii reports.
Addressing media at NUMEC in Gulu town on Monday, Akol Anthony who’s the Kilak North Member of Parliament assured the people of Acholi of President’s visit to Apaa – a visit he says has been unsuccessful.
“As leaders of this sub-region, we have three agenda that we expect the president to address while meeting us. We want compensation for those whose lives were lost, compensation for property destroyed by the both the UPDF, respect for our land rights and right to life which has been abused vehemently,” Akol said.
Akol predicted the meeting with the president to be a productive one, adding that, “As leaders we are as well going to use this opportunity to present other land related issues involving senior government officials to him.”
Mr. Olaa Ambrose, the Ker Kwaro Acholi Prime Minister in an interview with our reporter on phone assured people of Acholi that: “As traditional leaders we have issues to present to the President – more on the land related issue especially in Lakang, Aswa and Apaa.
“There is need to build a consensus. People have lost confidence in the current government. Government should take rightful way of acquiring land but not by force,” he added.
The Acholi Premier called on government to compensate all those who lost their lives and property during forceful eviction carried out by government security agencies.
Among leaders Mr Museveni is meeting today are Bishop, John Baptist Odama, John Kakumba, Musa Kilii, Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot Onen Acana II, among other leaders.