Wednesday, September 11, 2013

(MONITOR UG) Apaa locals demand meeting with Museveni over land row
By Cissy Makumbi
Posted Thursday, September 27 2012 at 01:00

An elder speaks during a meeting in Pabbo Sub-county headquarters on Saturday. Locals resolved to meet the President over the Apaa land stand-off. PHOTO BY CISSY MAKUMBI.

In Summary

Pabbo Clan chief says he cannot sit by and watch his subjects become squatters on their own land.

Amuru

Residents of Apaa Village, in Pabbo Sub-county in Amuru District are demanding audience with President Museveni following escalating land wrangles between them and the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

UWA has in the recent past evicted 6,000 residents from a disputed piece of land in Apaa that the Authority says belongs to East Madi Game Reserve. However, residents claim the 825 square kilometers of land is their ancestral property.

During a meeting over the standoff on Saturday, the residents resolved that since local mechanisms earlier used, including court, failed to solve the problem, they want the President’s intervention as many of them have become squatters.

Pabbo clan chief Jakeo Acaye Agole said he will not sit by and watch as violence is meted on his subjects by UWA warders, backed by the army and police, as well as eviction and destruction of their property. “I will spearhead the meeting with the President so that our people [can] settle once and for all to focus on development,” Mr Agole said, adding that it’s shameful to see his people suffer on their own land.

Pabbo Sub-county chairman Christopher Ojera, also an NRM party mobiliser, said it is important that the President listens to the people’s plea since many of them have nowhere to settle. He said residents who have settled on a particular land should not be disturbed and instead the area de-gazetted as land for settlement. “... but the unoccupied areas should be left as a game reserve,” he added.

The disputed area had 1,700 households, many of which had just resettled after leaving IDP camps.
But following the evictions, many people returned to former Pabbo IDP camp where they stayed for years during the LRA insurgency.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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