Tuesday , August 9 2022
Home / NEWS / Residents want Apaa township turned into semi-autonomous sub county

Residents want Apaa township turned into semi-autonomous sub county

Apaa township is contested between the Madi of Adjumani and Acholi of Amuru district. File Photo

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents want Apaa township turned into a semi-autonomous sub county to curb conflicts over ownership of the area.

Ancestral ownership of Apaa township which borders Amuru and Adjumani districts measures approximately 42 square kilometres and is highly contested between the Madi of Adjumani and Acholi of Amuru district respectively.

The same area is also claimed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) who say it is within the East Madi Wildlife Reserve, while the National Forestry Authority (NFA) also claims that part of it is located in the Zoka Central Forest.

Since 2012, when violent conflicts over ownership of the area broke out, at least 20 people have reportedly been killed, dozens injured, several household properties and livestock destroyed.

The conflicts have also greatly affected access to social services due to the closure of the only serving Apaa health centre II in the area and the halt in the operation of over 18 community schools.

Residents in the area have added their voices and asked the government to create a semi-autonomous sub county of Apaa that will be under the supervision of the central government and overseen by a Deputy Resident District Commissioner.

They say that this will not only mitigate conflicts and rights abuses arising from ownership claims of the area but also bring better services to the residents since it will be directly provided by the central government but not the conflicting districts of Amuru and Adjumani.

Wilson Acuma, the Chairperson of the Disaster Management Committee in Apaa says that the area has approximately 32,116 people with 5,034 households, a number he says can even call for the creation of a district.

Acuma disclosed that the worst affected areas include Acholi Ber, Oyanga, Lulai, Gaji, Juka and Lutoyo sub parishes.

He explained that the solution to the problems is turning Apaa township into a semi-autonomous sub county to mitigate violence from natives of Madi and Acholi as modalities for a lasting solution are designed.

Richard Kinyera Ojul, another resident says that Apaa township is currently in a state of lawlessness coupled with violence that is perpetrated by leaders from both districts.

He noted that turning Apaa into a semi-autonomous administrative unit will prevent the violence since the area will be free from the two districts.

Eighty-year-old Onek Atunya, another resident added that the government can only end the loss of lives and destruction in Apaa by relinquishing its claim of ownership from the districts of Amuru and Adjumani.

However, Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo who previously headed a delegation of leaders from the Acholi sub region to meet President Museveni at State House says that the recommendation to turn Apaa into a semi-autonomous sub county entirely relies on the judicial commission of inquiry which is yet to be established by the President.

*****

URN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *