Lamwo Police Foil Inter-clan Attacks Over Land

2057 Views Lamwo, Uganda

In short
Police in Lamwo district has quashed plans by members of Lugwar clan in Palabek Ogili Sub County to carry out revenge killings against another clan.

Police in Lamwo district has quashed plans by members of Lugwar clan in Palabek Ogili Sub County to carry out revenge killings against another clan.
 
Anti-riot Police on Sunday intercepted 65 members of Lugwar clan a few kilometres to the boundary of the neighbouring Palabek Gem Sub County as they went to carry out attacks. They were told to back off and initiate mediation to resolve the differences that emerged after a member of the clan went missing and was later found dead.
 
Under Acholi traditions, death was paid for by death. This is why, an offended clan would attack rival clans to kill members, animals, burn houses and destroy other properties as well.
 
Christopher Omal, the Palabek Ogili sub county chairperson, told Uganda Radio Network that the aggrieved Lugwar group carried machetes, logs, bows and arrows, accusing Ayu Pa-ladyang clan members of brutally allegedly killing Bosco Kitara over land. He said such a volatile situation can easily run out of hand when taken for granted.
 
Omal says Lugwar clan members discovered the decomposing body of Kitara on Friday morning hidden in a nearby bush in Ojao Ogala Village in Anaka Parish, Palabek Gem Sub County. The body had bruises pointing to a possibility that the deceased could have been attacked. The body was found just a few days after he failed to return from his garden in Lugwar Parish in Palabek Ogili Sub County.
 
Patrick J.S Olal, the Palabek Gem Sub county chairperson, says he was prompted to call Police after receiving intelligence reports that members of Lugwar had mobilized themselves to avenge the death of Kitara and take control of some piece of land in return.
 
Olal says the rival clans have been trading accusations over the land plowed by Kitara for some time, with members of Pa Ladyang accusing Kitara of trespass.
 
Lugwar clan refused to bury Kitara until compensation of 8 cows and 4 goats was paid on Sunday afternoon. Officiating over the traditional ritual and burial of Kitara, Rwot Jeji Olal, the Clan Chief of Palabek Chiefdom urged the rival clans to end the rivalry for lasting peace to prevail.
 
Seguya Kimera, the Lamwo district Police Commander, says while violence related to land wrangle is on the decline in the district, there are still many cases requiring urgent attention.
 
Land wrangles resulting into inter-clan clashes are not new in Kitgum district. The July 2002 massacre at Mucwini in which the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels killed 56 people was partly a result of long-standing land wrangles between the Pubec and Pajong clans. An aggrieved Pubec clan member abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army indicated that he was from the rival clan before escaping with the gun. The rebels then attacked members of the clan.
 
According to Justice and Reconciliation Poject Field Note No. 8 published in November 2008, the abductee, Katende Otim, told the LRA that he belonged to Pajong Clan. He named Emmanuel Okullu and Dora Acan as his parents. They were both beheaded by the LRA during the massacre.
 
Since the massacre, leaders in the sub region never want to take any land matter for granted.