Lamwo and Kitgum Districts Grapple With Land Conflicts

2417 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
In the last one month, Kitgum police has registered over 28 cases of threatening violence emanating from land conflicts, while several cases were also registered in Lamwo, with Agoro sub-county having over five cases of violence reported.

Land conflicts in Kitgum and Lamwo districts have escalated following clashes between residents over pieces of land without clear boundary demarcations. Kitgum police has recorded over 28 cases related to boundary disputes over the past last month. Several such cases have also been registered in Lamwo district, with Agoro sub-county leading with five cases.

In Kitgum most of the cases are from Akwan and Mucwinyi sub-counties. Ben Owali, the LC 3 chairman of Agoro sub-county admits land conflicts are a major problem in his area. He blames the escalation of land conflicts to some youths who incite their peers to fight elders over land. Owali says also says that some of the Acholis in the diaspora send home huge sums of money that fuel the land crisis.

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He says that as a sub county they are planning to organize meetings to expose people fueling land conflicts. Owali says that his office will ask residents to write the names of people involved in land conflicts and expose them together with their funders.

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James Akena, an elder in Pujong parish in Mucwini sub-county says the situation is alarming. He cites unruly youths who do not know the history of land as the biggest problem. He says most of the young people are being misled by their elders.

Akena appeals to all elders in the district to educate the youths on the right history to avoid future conflicts.  Doka Ramadhan, the Criminal Investigations office Kitgum district has acknowledged the problem. He says the cases of threatening violence reached its peak about a month ago when the rains started.

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He has warned the residents to desist from engaging land wrangles. Doka says police is always on standby to deal with cases of threatening violence and land conflicts that result into physical assault.