By Andrew Visper
Prime Minister Rt Hon Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has met the two parties involved in discussions about finding a lasting solution to the land disputes in Apaa, in Adjumani District, and conveyed Government decision on the matter.
The meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala was attended by the Adjumani and Amuru teams which were constituted by President Museveni to consider various options aimed at resolving the disputed settlement on a piece of land in Apaa in East Madi Game Reserve.
The Prime Minister informed the parties that following several meetings between the two groups held in Gulu in the course of last year, during which no common position was reached, cabinet early this year, under the Chairmanship of President Museveni considered decided that all people occupying East Madi Game Reserve (Apaa) should vacate it.
Cabinet further said people in the East Madi Game Reserve who were found to have acquired National Identification Cards between 2013 and 2014 as residents of Apaa be assisted with Sh10m, 20 bags of cement and 20 iron sheets, per household to enable them acquire land and settle elsewhere.
The conflicts in the area intensified last year when central government through the local government expanded Adjumani district boundaries into Amuru district.
An inter-agency security force comprising of UPDF battalion and Police Field Force officers, was early this year deployed in Adjumani district to restore peace between the two conflicting tribes of Acholi and Madi.
The two tribes have for two years been fighting over a disputed area located between Zoka river and Goraba river in Adjumani district.
Rugunda also revealed that government took a decision that those who were found in Apaa but did not possess National IDs be assisted with Sh 2m per household, to assist them to relocate.
The meeting also decided that Apaa Market be closed by the end of March 2019.
Relief food will be provided to all the households which will be asked to vacate the East Madi Game Reserve for a period of 12 months to give them time to grow their own food in the places they will move.
The Prime Minister said that the exercise will be conducted in an organized, planned and humane manner, with dignity and be completed by the end of June 2019.
The Prime Minister appealed to leaders of the two communities at the local and national level to sensitize the people about the above decisions.