AMURU. Police have refuted accusations that they shot at people in the contested Apaa land in Amuru District during the erection of mark stones last week.
Five people were injured, two lost their limbs while 35 others were arrested as they protested the land demarcation that was carried out under heavy security deployment.
The Aswa region police spokesperson, Mr Jimmy Patrick Okema, told Daily Monitor on Monday that they only fired teargas canisters.
“We only used teargas to disperse the protesters. There wasn’t any bullet that was fired. Those who lost their arms picked teargas canisters that exploded in their hands thus losing their limbs,” he said.
Mr Okema also dismissed reports that security beat up people in Apaa, saying: “These are just rumours engineered and being propagated by politicians.”
However, Mr Felix Opiyo, one of the victims whose hand has been amputated, told Daily Monitor that he was on his way from weeding simsim when he was shot.
He said civilians were shot at indiscriminately by army and police personnel.
“My hand has been amputated and this will affect my life since I depend on farming. I dropped out of Gulu University to look for tuition fees in the village, the future is now bleak for me,” Mr Opiyo said.
However, the Minister for Lands, Mr Daudi Migereko, said the security personnel on the ground only provided security to surveyors on the request of leaders from Amuru and Adjumani districts.
MPs to present report
Opposition MPs, who visited the disputed 40sqkm land, last Sunday promised to present a report to Parliament on acts of armed forces’ brutality on Amuru residents. The legislators claim the brutality had caused great injuries and government must be held accountable.