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Two killed as Acholi fight Madi over land in Apaa

Acholi community in Apaa and Madi from Adjumani continue to clash over land ownership. File Photo

Adjumani, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Two people have been killed in renewed tribal clashes between the Acholi community in Apaa township and Madi people from neighboring Adjumani district.

Local authorities say an unspecified number of Madi assailants armed with machetes crossed Juka river into Goro B on Sunday with an aim of attacking the Acholi community, but they were quickly subdued by the community, killing one on the spot.

“We killed one and captured seven of them whom we handed over to Juka police and military detach,” a local council 1 official who preferred his name not to be mentioned told URN in an interview on Monday.

Wilson Acuma, the coordinator of Local Council 1 chairpersons in Apaa revealed that a new group of Madi people have invaded their villages seeking to avenge the death of their gang members.

“Another assailant who was critically injured during the Sunday scuffle has died today from Ajumani hospital, bringing the number of those killed to two, which has further provoked the Madi who have regrouped to retaliate,” Acuma said.

Police backed by the army fired teargas and live bullets to disperse the assailants who were advancing towards Apaa township to attack displaced community members who had sought refuge for fear of attacks.

When contacted, the Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF 4th Division Public Relations Officer could not confirm nor deny the report but requested more time establish the facts on the ground before issuing an official statement.

This brings to four, the number of deaths relating to the renewed tribal conflicts between the two communities since August this year.

Cumulatively, 24 people have been killed since 2012 when the first attack on Apaa residents occurred.

Conflict over Apaa land measuring 827 square kilometers in size relates to its ownership and economic use. The Acholi community argue the land is their ancestral home which the Madi are contesting.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA also claims ownership of the land which was gazetted by the Adjumani district Local Government in 2012 as part of East Madi Game Reserve under Zoka Central Forest.

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