The cabinet minister for Lands and Urban Development Betty Amongi has blamed the Apaa land wrangles on the politicians who she says are the ones inciting the locals to turn violent.
1st Deputy Prime Minister General Moses Ali and Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa region police spokesperson earlier this week also poured the blame of escalating violence and bitterness among the residents in Apaa on the Amuru local leaders, mainly Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South member of parliament, Anthony Akol, Kilak North Member of Parliament and the Amuru district LC5 chairman Michael Lakony.
Speaking in a televised interview last evening, Hon Betty Amongi said the issue in Apaa is emanating from boarder conflict. Amongi explained further that the conflict erupted in 2012 when the Adjumani local government decided to gazette part of Apaa that is largely occupied by the Acholi as a Wildlife reserve. She said a concession was given to by Uganda Wildlife Authority to an investor, triggering complains by the Acholi who were not happy with Adjumani saying the district was getting to their land. Most of the Acholi vote and registered under Amuru. “The lands ministry was then called to demarcate in 2015”- Amongi said.
The minister added that after negotiating with the Acholi and Madi communities, the politicians refused to allow the technical persons to demarcate. She added that state then compulsorily demarcated.
“Since the state has machinery, the state deployed police and army that protected our surveyors who demarcated accurately the area”- Amongi added.
Amongi asked the politicians to cooperate and dialogue saying the ministry doesn’t do anything outside the law.
She concluded that even with the demarcation, both communities are allowed to settle in the area.