May 22, 2020

Land dispute leaves 3 Dead


Nwoya – Three people have been reportedly killed and several houses set on flame during land conflict in Nwoya District.

Bodies of three victims of Thursday Nwoya conflict, were taken to Pakwach Health 3 mortuary.

Pakwach Resident District Commissioner,Toko Swaib could not disclose what really transpired at the scene but he only identified the dead.

“We have not established what happened but dead bodies were brought here to Pakwach Health centre IV. The dead have been identified as 20 years old Tabu Innocent from Panyango, 22 years old Ocakucan Kelvin, from Parombo in Nebbi district and Aita Richard from Paidha in Zombo district.

The RDC says there has been tribal land conflict between the Jonam and Acholi but he was not sure that was the cause of the killings.

“What we know is that there has been conflict going on between the Jonam people and Acholi. On Monday, some houses were torched. However, how this has culminated into death, remains unknown to us!” the RDC exclaims.

Meanwhile, Pakwach Woman Member of Parliament, Hon. Avur Pacuto Jane, who first raised the matter in the August House, calls on the government to intervene to rescue the people.

She discloses that the attack happened at Obira village in Obira Parish, Nwoya district.

“Our plea is that we have lived on this land for time immemorial. It was Tse-tse flies that chased some of our people to the other side of River Nile to Pakwach but they still come every season to cultivate their land” Hon. Avur narrates.

The contested areas has long been occupied by the Jonam people whose majority live across River Nile.

“We are calling on the government to come to our aid. We are not requesting for extension of the boundary of the district but let our people cultivate their land and co-exist, peacefully with their brothers in Acholi as they conduct their economic activities that provides them livelihood” the woman MP appeals.

The MP who claims that the civil population was attacked by armed men in military uniform, wonders what could be the motive yet the president had restricted any land eviction due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“Instead of killing us, they should provide security. Why this time when the President has restricted land issues? It’s beyond the scoop of the ordinary Uganda. We need the government to intervene” she appeals.

According to Hon. Avur, some people came on Monday to fix mark stones but the issue culminated into a clash leading to gunshots and three houses set aflame without any death case.

Then, on Thursday, 21st May, the same armed group came to continue with fixing of the mark stone and a scuffle ensued where about 12 houses were reportedly set aflame and death cases registered.

According to the MP, the area Local Council 1 chairperson told her the perpetrators of the clash were soldiers camped in a nearby detach.

However, Brigadier General Charles Otema who hails from Acholi region told RedPepper Digital that Nwoya DPC told him the civilians, armed with arrows and bows, attacked the soldiers at the detach.

He claims police recovered as evidence, the weapons used by the civilians against the army.

But when Red Pepper digital contacted Nwoya DPC, Philbert Waibi to verify the claims, he said he was yet busy at the scene and would call later.
By press time the DPC had not called Red Pepper digital as he promised.

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