Oulanyah to Meet President Museveni Sunday Over Apaa Land Conflict


President Museveni speaking to Deputy Speaker, Oulanyah (L) during the ceremony on Saturday.
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The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah is set to meet President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday over the long standing land conflict in Apaa, Adjumani district.

On Saturday, Oulanyah together with woman MP for Omoro district, Catherine Lamwaka welcomed the President to Omoro district. He was attending a thanksgiving ceremony of MP Lamwaka.

Oulanyah informed the President that the Acholi region is in a sombre mood as a result of murmurs of discussions concerning Apaa.

Oulanyah who doubles as the MP for Omoro county said that the recent decision taken by government over Apaa is causing resentment among the Acholi people, a situation he says could be handled better.

“The problem is sometimes we have good things to do; and we must do them but we do them so badly that they become bad,” Oulanyah said.

He requested that Museveni grant him audience so they can find better ways to handle the situation.

In his response, the President extended his appreciation to the residents  of Omoro for loving the NRM and said Omoro is in the centre of his heart. He accepted to meet Oulanyah.

“When Oulanyah asks for anything; of course I grant him his request.” Museveni said.

The meeting between the President and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament is expected to happen Sunday in Gulu.

Last week, a decision was reached by the office of the prime minister to compensate and have everyone occupying the much contested land of Apaa- Zoka forest reserve leave.

Read More: Apaa Conflict: Govt Orders Eviction in East Madi Game Reserve

The meeting comes days after the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement indictating that Cabinet had taken  a decision to have all people occupying the East Madi game reserve in Apaa to vacate it.

The directive states that those people in the East Madi game reserve who were found to have acquired National Identification Cards between 2013 and 2014 as residents of Apaa will be facilitated with a monetary package so they can relocate.

According to a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the occupants of the game reserve who possess IDs between 2013 and 2014 as residents of Apaa, “will be assisted with Sh 10m, 20 bags of cement and 20 iron sheets, per household to enable them acquire land and settle elsewhere”.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda met the two parties involved in discussions about finding a lasting solution to the land disputes in Apaa.It is during the meeting that Dr Rugunda communicated the Cabinet resolutions on the matter.

Government also resolved that people who were found in Apaa but did not possess National IDs be assisted with Sh 2m per household, to assist them to relocate.

Furthermore, government directed that relief food be provided to all the households which will be asked to vacate the East Madi game reserve, for a period of 12 months.

This is to give them time to grow their own food in the places they will move, according to the OPM statement.

The Prime Minister said the exercise will be conducted in an organized, planned and humane manner, with dignity and be completed by the end of June 2019.

The dispute between the Madi and Acholi communities over the Apaa land boundaries has been long-standing, with each of the two ethnic groups claiming ownership of the land.

In 2017, four people were killed while 21 others sustained serious injuries following violent clashes over the contested land. More than 100 grass-thatched houses were torched by men armed with machetes, spears, bows and arrows. An estimated 700 people were left homeless.

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