Gulu High Court last week suspended the eviction of Amuru residents from the contested 40 square kilometres that lie between the boundary of Adjumani and Amuru districts in northern Uganda.
Residents of Amuru lodged an application in Gulu High Court on Thursday March 15, seeking orders to extend date of eviction of the people by government, Adjumani local government and Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The case was supposed to be heard on March15, which was the same date that had been set for eviction to start. However, Mr Thadeus Opesen the Deputy Registrar Gulu High Court issued an order restraining the evictions until May 29, 2018 when the case will be heard.
“Take note that the hearing of the case has been fixed for 29 day of May 2018 at 9:00am in the fore/afternoon or soon thereafter,” Mr Opesen stated.
The residents were represented by Ivan Oloya of Okello Oryem and Company Advocates.
Geoffrey Omony, area local leader of Labala Sub-county, one of the affected villages urged the people settling in the contested land to make use of this period to plant crops that can provide them food.
“I’m glad some people had started planting crops like groundnuts. Since the court hearing will start in May, you will have harvested some crops.” Omony said “I appealed to those that are disturbing people in the contested area to desist because the court will determine whether the people should leave or not”
The dispute in the land between Adjumani and Amuru district started in 2010 when Adjumani local government gazetted Apaa, Labala and parts of Pabbo as East Maddi wildlife reserved at the time people vacated the areas and settled in Internally Displaced Persons’ camp.
The land in contest has over 26,000 people in the villages of Pabba, Labala and Apaa settled on it.