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Rugunda Meets Paramount Chief, Local Leaders Over Apaa Clashes

Prime  Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and his delegation upon arrival at Gulu Airport. Photos by Sarah Kagingo

Prime Minister was this morning accosted by leaders, this web mostly members of Parliament from the Acholi area who one by one laid out more accusations against government security organs for fueling clashes that led to the death of 8 people and left over 2 dozens with life threatening injuries.

The Premier led a delegation of government officials from Kampala on what he called during the heated meeting, stomach a “fact finding mission.”

The team included Minister of Lands Betty Amongi, Minister of State for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda, Disaster Preparedness Minister Hillary Onek, the Deputy Attorney General among others.

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These were airlifted together with the Prime Minister on Monday morning to the Gulu Airport.

The team first met with victims of the Wednesday clashes at Lacor Hospital in Gulu town before proceeding to the residence of the Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot Onen Acana II, where an intense meeting was conducted.

During the meeting, local leaders narrated the events in which Madi and Acholi locals stabbed and maimed each other whith arrows, spears and machetes allegedly over land.

The Acholi still consider that Apaa is in Labala parish in Pabbo sub-county which recently government belonged to the Madi.

The Leaders in the meeting doubled down on the accusations that the Police and the UPDF took sides during the crisis.

Premier Rugunda meeting with leader at the residence of Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot Onen Acana II

Premier Rugunda meeting with leader at the residence of Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot Onen Acana II

The second Paramount Chief accused one AIGP Grace Turyagumanawe of leading a team of police that “stripped, flogged and did all kinds of barbaric acts on his people.”

“We are Ugandans and we demand to be treated with dignity. Our people cannot be stabbed and stripped naked and the perpetrators walk free,” retorted Kitgum Woman MP Beatrice Anywar.

“We want to see the Office of the Prime Minister come out with relief support to our affected people and also hold a meaningful dialogue. If this does not happen, we are going to tell our people that they are now on their own,” she said.

In the meeting, Prime Minister Rugunda expressed government’s commitment to come to the bottom of the crisis and leave when everyone’s security is guaranteed.

He also revealed that his office, through Disaster Minister Onek would soon be delivering relief support to the affected communities.

“Government needless to say is more than determined to ensure that peace and security for everybody is guaranteed and a sustainable solution is provided so that the population can concentrate on development.”

The Premier added that some the concerns raised during the meeting “would have to be investigated a little more deeply.”

“We are going to have subsequent political meetings. This is a fact finding mission and we cannot expect that this will simply go away just like that. We want to be thorough, coordinated and more involving.”

From here, the Prime Ministr and his delegation travelled to Amuru and Adjumani for more meetings.

 

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