President Yoweri Museveni has instituted a new committee chaired by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, that will be tasked to find an amicable solution for the protracted land conflict in Apaa, Adjumani district.
The formation of the new committee followed a meeting held Sunday between President Yoweri Museveni and Oulanyah who doubles as the MP for Omoro county, Omoro district.
Museveni had Saturday been in Omoro where he and other leaders including Oulanyah were attending the thanksgiving ceremony of the woman MP for Omoro district, Catherine Lamwaka.
At the event, .Oulanyah informed the President that the Acholi region is in a sombre mood as a result of murmurs of discussions concerning Apaa. He 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.
After the meeting in Gulu on Sunday, another discussion was held with Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda in Kampala on Monday, according to Oulanyah.
“We had very fruitful deliberations and the President announced a new Commitee on Apaa which will be chaired by me and deputized by the Prime Minister,” Oulanyah said in a post on Facebook.
Other committee members are: Gen.Moses Ali (First Deputy Prime Minister), Hillary Onek (Minister of Refugees and Disaster Preparedness), Amongi Betty (Minister of Lands), Sam Cheptoris (Minister of Water and Environment) and Ephraim Kamuntu (Minister of Tourism).
“The committee will revisit and seek all possible lasting solutions to make certain that our people have peace and the support they need to develop and move on from this long standing strife,” the Deputy Speaker added.
Oulanyah has appealed to the factions from both the Acholi and Madi “that are fueling conflict through disseminating wrong information, to cease and we work together towards ensuring that unity is forged so that our people can live together in harmony again”.
Last week, a decision was reached by the office of the prime minister to facilitate everyone occupying the much contested land of Apaa- Zoka forest reserve to leave.
The meeting came 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 stated 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, would be assisted with Sh 10m, 20 bags of cement and 20 iron sheets, per household to enable them acquire land and settle elsewhere.