The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Gen David Muhoozi, has blamed political leaders for exacerbating conflicts between Madi and Acholi communities over Apaa land.
Apaa land turned contentious when Government in 2017 demarcated boundaries between Amuru and Adjumani Districts. Apaa village was placed under Adjumani, to the dismay of the Acholi people from Amuru with whom they have inhabited the land for decades. Since then, the attacks have been recurring as Madi community want the Acholi people pushed out of the land.
Presenting a statement on the floor of Parliament on 08 February 2022 in regard to the investigations on the renewed Apaa attacks, Minister Muhoozi said that whereas Government has engaged several stakeholders to have the issue solved amicably, the conflict is still being fuelled by some politicians.
“The conflict in Apaa has been hijacked by politicians on either side to the disadvantage of the local cultural institutions through which land conflicts have always been resolved in this part of the country. Where communities previously co-existed amicably, underlying these communal tensions are self-interests of leaders for land and political capital,” Gen Muhoozi said.
According to Muhoozi, service delivery in Apaa has been cut off since the area can no longer be serviced by either Amuru or Adjumani Districts.
In order to restore peace and harmony, Muhoozi said that Government plans to engage and prevail upon politicians who are behind the renewed clashes and also resettle and compensate communities that occupy part of Apaa land that was gazetted as a game reserve.
MP Sarah Opendi (NRM, Tororo District) called upon the House to revisit the previous resolutions that the 10th Parliament considered and have been implemented to resolve the protracted land conflict.
However, Deputy Speaker Anita Among preferred that the matter be extensively investigated again by the relevant committee of Parliament following the lapse of business of the 10th Parliament.
She urged politicians to preach love and reconciliation for the co-existence of communities with varying ethnicity or tribe.
“As politicians, we need to advise our people to co-exist; we have intermarried with these people and lived with them. So politicians should stop fuelling such conflicts. We should love and support each other,” Among said.
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