No more settlements in Apaa conservation area – Oulanyah
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has called for calm in Apaa following a nine year border dispute between Amuru and Adjumani districts.
Oulanyah said that there should not be any more settlements in the conservation area of Zokka C in Apaa. “If someone wants to get out of Apaa and go and settle somewhere else, that one is permitted; but there should be no movement coming in to Apaa,” Oulanyah said.
Oulanyah is chairing a committed instituted by the President to find a lasting solution to the conflict in Apaa. The committee is also has the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda and First Deputy Prime Minister, Gen Moses Ali.
The dispute between the Madi and Acholi communities over the Apaa land boundaries has been long-standing, with each of the two ethnic groups claiming ownership of the land.
Oulanyah said the committee has been tasked to study the situation in Apaa and develop recommendations on how to clear the conservation area of settlements without affecting persons living around the area.
“If any evictions are going on, they must now stop until further communication on what we should do. We need to have movement people out of the conservation areas in a smooth way,” he said.
He also called upon residents to give the committee a chance to execute its mandate effectively and tasked local leaders to desist from making statements that could escalate the conflict. Oulanyah added that efforts had been made to solve the Apaa conflict with finality but cited tensions which had made implementation difficult. He called on the media to play a major role in curbing the ongoing land impasse.
“We ask members of the press to be the people to challenge our leaders to be part of the solution and not the problem. When you interview them, ask questions that will shape their thinking towards finding a lasting solution to this problem,” Oulanyah added.
The committee also includes Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hon Hilary Onek, Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Hon Betty Amongi, State Minister for Tourism, Hon Godfrey Kiwanda, Minister of State for Water, Hon Ronald Kibuule and Minister for Northern Uganda, Hon Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny.