APG, Ker Kwaro Acholi calls for unconditional release of Apaa residents in custody

ADJUMANI – The Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) and Ker Kwaro Acholi have called for the unconditional release of 7 residents of Apaa who have been arrested and are being detained in Adjumani district.

The residents identified as Vincent Okumu, Kenneth, Stephen Ojara and his son Julius Arop, Patrick Oloya, Denis Ochaya and one only identified as Okumu were arrested between August and October this year.

Apaa township, measuring over 24 square miles, has been at the center of conflict with both Acholi and the Madi claiming ownership. The attacks between the two communities have seen 20 people killed and 2 missing since 2015 to-date.

Addressing the media, Anthony Akol, the Chairperson Acholi Parliamentary Group says, the people who were innocently arrested and tortured in Adjumani district must be unconditionally released within a 14-day period of time.

According to Akol, failure to release these people, the members of Acholi Parliamentary Group will pitch camp in Apaa township to send a clear message on the ongoing human rights violation which include; torture, freedom to live freely as well as access to social services such as schools and health centers which have since been closed for over two years now.

“If the government can not order for the release of the people arrested innocently, we are going to pitch camp, and send a clear message on how the government has failed to control and run the country,” Akol asserts.

Akol, also the Member of Parliament for Kilak North, says a team from APG, Ker Kwaro Acholi, Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) among other stakeholders will pursue dialogue with the Madi community for a long-lasting solution to the conflict.

Ambrose Olaa, the Prime Minister Ker Kwaro Acholi says, as the cultural institution, they are going to re-establish and ascertain the boundaries of Acholi land and their neighbors which is one of the ways forward to solve land conflicts arising from border disputes.

Sharon Laker Balmoi, the Gulu District Woman Member of Parliament says, with the current trend of occurrences in Apaa, children and women are left to suffer on the veranda of houses or even under trees because their houses have been destroyed.

“We have lost the education of future children, people have caught illnesses without treatment because of the harsh conditions they have been subjected to, yet the government can’t take a stand to end the dispute. Regardless of where Apaa is, the right to land ownership and other human rights must be respected and protected, which the government seems to have failed to do,” Balmoi said.

The dispute has seen tons of food crops destroyed in the past three years leaving the community members homeless, without access to education and health.


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