Madi-Okollo. The State Minister of Internal Affairs, Mario Obiga Kania also the Terego East Constituency MP has joined Ismail Ali Ogama, the Lower Madi County MP in pushing for the demarcation of the boundary between Rigbo sub-county in Madi Okollo district and Uriama sub-county in Terego district.
The move is aimed at solving the long-time fight between the locals of the two sub-counties that has led to loss of property on either side.
The latest fight over the boundary was on Thursday last week where houses and crops were destroyed, animals looted and over 20 youths arrested during a standoff over Ocea market which is being claimed by the two parties.
As a result, Ogama and Kania intervened by calling a meeting involving locals from both sub-counties, elders and other local leaders in a bid to find a lasting solution to the problem.
During the meeting held at Ocea settlement centre on Sunday, the two leaders agreed to push the government to send independent surveyors from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development on ground so as to solve the problem using the colonial map of 1962.
“The prerogative of having these border surveyors on ground is not with you my people but with the central government. I’m going to cooperate with my colleague Kania to this time round, put pressure on government surveyors to come and demarcate these boundaries using the administrative boundaries that the President has always been talking about,” Ogama said.
But he warned locals that the government doesn’t at times operate the way they (the people) wish things to be done.
“As I talk now, Apa land dispute took time to be resolved, Tororo land conflict started before the border dispute between Rigbo and Uriama started. This one started very recently around 1998 and I’m sure it is the same time they might take here or it might be to the contrary. So, up to when will you be under tension?” Ogama asked.
He said for now, people should learn to co-exist peacefully, adding that owning land doesn’t make change of a boundary in any way.
Similarly, Kania emphasized that border issues as far as the map is concerned are for the central government.
“That is why we are going back to the use of colonial map to resolve this border problem. We are going to go to the Ministry of Lands to come and demarcate the boundary between Rigbo and Uriama sub-counties because we don’t want bloodshed over this issue,” Kania said.
He, however, ordered the West Nile Region Police Commander, SSP Richard Okullu to arrest anybody trying to take the law in his or her hands.
“You RPC and DPC, I will judge you by what anybody who take the law in his hands, deal with them firmly. Anybody you arrest, don’t detain him here in Arua but take the person direct to Kampala so that we can deal with him from there,” Kania ordered.
Meanwhile Okullu promised to establish a fully-fledged police post in the area as demanded by locals to help in curbing the rate of crime in the area