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Victims of violent land conflict in Amuru struggling to survive

A section of victims of the violent land conflict in Pawel Langetta village. URN photo

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 200 victims of a violent land conflict in Pawel Langetta village in Opara sub county, Amuru district are struggling to survive.

In October last year, there was a bitter land row between Palaro and Pakwayi clans, all in Amuru district over the ancestral ownership of land measuring approximately 3053.4 acres situated along the Gulu-Nimule highway.

The conflict followed reports that Joseph Livingstone Otema of Palaro clan sold 150 acres of the contested land to the Amuru Resident District Commissioner, Geoffrey Osborn Oceng prompting protest from members of the Pakwayi clan.

The violent conflict left dozens of people injured, household properties worth millions of shillings destroyed, and crop gardens measuring hundreds of acres razed to the ground. After the violent dispute, hundreds of the residents occupying the contested land abandoned the area and their garden works for fear of revenge.

Some of them have taken refuge at homes of relatives, friends but struggling without food, clothing, bedding, and better health services.

Tuwape John, 50, who sustained serious injuries on his head and suffered a broken left arm has taken refuge at his brother’s home in Kabedopong cell in Gulu City.

Tuwape who is a member of the Pakwayi clan says that he is living helplessly since he is out of work and cannot now fend for himself and his ten children who are also with his brother yet he cannot also provide all their needs.

Alice Lagulu, a mother of 12 says she lost several acres of garden crops in the conflict. She explained that she also lost three of her grass-thatched huts that were set ablaze, 12 goats killed, and dozens of poultry.

Lagulu who is now living with her aunt is appealing for the intervention of the government by providing food relief to the victims as well the district leaders to restore peace between the conflicting parties.

Susan Aloyo says her family lost three huts and every household property during the attack, and are now residing and being assisted by one of the local churches neighboring the area.

Geoffrey Osborn Oceng, the Amuru Resident Commissioner who denied involvement in the conflict said that the matter has caused insecurity in the area but a meeting will be summoned to restore peace.

J.B Kitara Lapyem Labongo, the Amuru District land officer said that they have taken over the matter and planning to resolve the dispute.

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