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MP Olanya faults govt on Apaa killings probe

One of the victims of the recent Apaa land skirmishes receives treatment. Courtesy photo.

One of the victims of the recent Apaa land skirmishes receives treatment. Courtesy photo.



Amuru: The Member of Parliament for Kilak South in Amuru District, search Gilbert Olanya, has criticised government for being biased in investigating suspects who killed at least 11 people in early June in a border dispute between Amuru and Adjumani districts.

Hon Olanya says government opted to investigate the complainants, visit the Acholi leaders, instead of the suspected killers and perpetrators.

Olanya was speaking to journalists after reporting to Kibuli Police Station last Friday to record his statement to aid investigations into the killings that happened in Apaa last month.

He wondered why police is investigating him and leaving prime suspects like Gen Moses Ali and the alleged killers at large.

“There is injustice in this country. Acholi people were killed by the Madi people who crossed Juka bridge into Amuru District when people were on their gardens, one man was dragged from his house and killed and none of the Madi was killed by Acholi community,” Olanya said.

“None of the killers have been arrested even after we compiled a list of suspected killers, including two UPDF officers from the 37th Batallion, and handed it to the Office of the President, to the Prime Minister and police,” he added.

 

One of the injured victims in Apaa land clashes with an arrow stuck in his mouth being attended to at St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu. Courtesy photo.

Olanya also said he feels unsafe with the way Gen Moses Ali points at him using his scary walking stick, which he said is a sign of bad intention in Acholi culture.

“Gen Moses Ali is always pointing at me with his big black stick, I am scared. It a bad sign in my culture for one to repeatedly point at someone with his walking stick. I hope it’s not witchcraft,” Olanya says.

Olanya said he is seeking advice from his lawyer because Gen Moses Ali has threatened him even at the floor of Parliament.

Attempts to get information from the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Emillian Kayima, who could throw some light on who else were summoned in the case, was futile as he declined to answer our repeated calls.

He said Gen Ali has on several occasions at Parliament, vowed to take over ownership of Apaa land whether he (Olanya) likes it or not.

The Apaa land conflict has been ongoing since 2012 when Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) tried to evict more than 6,000 residents on claim that the area of Apaa they were living on is East Madi Game Reserve but the eviction was halted by a court injunction.

Olanya accuses Gen Moses Ali of having a hand in the give-away of part of the Apaa land to a South African investor, Bruce Martin, an allegation that Gen Ali has repeatedly denied.

The dispute, that was heightened with the 2015 border demarcation, has so far left 13 people dead, two amputated, 28 injured.

A 2014 Daily Monitor report by the Makerere University-based Refugee Law Project observed that the conflict in Apaa had become inevitable and a fact of life with frequent disagreement between the conflicting parties (the Madi ethnic group of Adjumani and the Lamogi/Pabbo clans of Acholi in Amuru) resulting into violence.
The conflict in Apaa, according to the report, has mainly been sparked off by torture and evictions occasioned by the operations of UWA in securing/reclaiming land in the area for a game reserve.

In April 2015, a woman stripped naked before the late Gen Aronda Nyakirima (former Internal Affairs minister) and Daudi Migereko, the former Lands minister, during the demarcation of the Adjumani-Amuru border in protest that Apaa is in Amuru District and cannot be handed over to Adjumani District.

 

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