Government Should Leave Amuru Land or Kill Us All Before It Takes it [opinion]

The government of Uganda is up in arms against the people of Amuru over their own land.

This is a matter that has been going on for a long time but which has lately returned to make headlines in the media. The state of affairs now is that Amuru is a theatre of state-sponsored terror against the ordinary people.

By this statement, we would like to bring to the attention of the world the plight of the people of Amuru. The government of Mr Museveni has come out full scale to disperse the people from their land. On April 2, 2015 the UPDF, the Uganda Police and other security operatives attacked locals at a market place in Apaa village and dispersed people not only from the businesses but also their homes and property, land.

The following took place in Amuru in the week that followed. On the area people were dispersed from a barracks with over 600 armed security personnel has been has been set up.

Amuru is now some sort of war zone. The military aanced onto the village with armored cars, APCs, tanks and other weaponry. Government claims that they want to demarcate the boundary between Amuru and Adjumani district and as such, they want the people to leave for process to be done.

There are two major issues in this fiasco:

First, the issue is administrative. This means that if government wants to demarcate the boundary between the two districts (assuming there is a boundary problem between them), it must do it professionally and in a civil manner. There is completely no need for militarizing such a process and driving people away.

Secondly, the peace and livelihood of the people must not be disturbed. However, the actual reasons behind these attacks are known and it is public information. There is a so-called investor, a white man called Bruce Martin from South Africa, who was given land in Amuru way back in 2005. This purporting investor wants to plant cotton on this land and also establish a hunting sport facility on a part of it.

Yet even the investor talk is a mere cover-up for the dirtiest of schemes by the Kampala regime. The scheme is for the vast wealth of mineral deposits in the Albert Nile zone. Findings show that the oil belt that starts in Bunyoro stretches through Amuru up to Arua at the border with Yumbe.

In fact, Arua’s oil-rich areas, known as Pawanga sub-county has been drawn and kept in the same confusion of artificial border disputes with Moyo district for a while now.

The same selfish elements in government confusing the people of Pawanga about where they fall between Arua and Yumbe have now invaded Amuru with exactly the same tricks of boundary issues. Their plan is to first achieve a division between the people of Amuru and Adjumani, keep them in perpetual conflict of inexistent boundary disputes as they plot to acquire and own the land.

In reality, there is no boundary issue between the people of Amuru and Adjumani at any point. The two peoples have lived together in harmony over generations without incidents.

Besides, the said boundary was drawn and marked way back by the British colonialists and nobody has since contested the lines as drawn then. The current actions of government therefore can only be treacherous evil deeds. This is why we describe the boundary issues as “artificial, inexistent and divisive.”

About all this, our lives are under serious threat. While speaking at a meeting in Boma hotel in Gulu town, Minister Kahinda Otafiire warned us (Olanya and Akello) that he could arrest and lock us up in Luzira prison if we do anything to obstruct government programs in Amuru.

Otafiire assured us in the presence of other government and district officials, including Internal Affairs minister Aronda Nyakairima, that he was trained to kill and not to romance with people.

Well, Otafiire and his colleagues in government will wake up another morning to learn that we people in Amuru will not be cowed out of our land in the reality of their evil selfishness. You take Amuru land only after killing the last Acholi in that district.

Gilbert Olanya is MP for Kilak county Lucy Akello is Woman MP for Amuru district.

Source : The Observer

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