By Benedict Okethwengu
At least three residents of Pakwach town council in Nebbi district have gone missing and 12 others are battling for their lives after they were attacked by unidentified men on Saturday.
The 12 are now nursing serious wounds at Pakwach Health center IV.
Pakwach town council LC3 chairman, Benson Okumu told New Vision the victims were attacked at Got Apwoyo, in Porongo sub-county, Nwoya district on their way to check on their land.
They were ambushed and attacked by machete-wielding men, who also carried spears, bows and arrows, said Okumu.
Authorities have not yet established the identities of the residents said to be missing though a hunt to trace them is underway.
Of those attacked include a 75-year-old and another aged 74. Two others are in their 60s and another trio in their early 50s.
Chairman Okumu (right) mentioned that the gruesome incident was the third in the area.
Two of the victims’ canoes, which they used for crossing over to the other land, were also destroyed by the unidentified men whose motive remains unclear.
Despite the uncertainty around the late-night attack, Okumu believes it was masterminded by those opposed to repeated attempts by the people of Jonam to occupy their land in Amuru district.
“These are the works of those greedy Acholis, who want to grab our land by force, but we shall not yield to their pressure and surrender our land to them, because the land they are torturing us on is our ancestral land,” he said, bitterly.
He thinks government needs to urgently intervene in the land conflict which pits the Acholi in Amuru district with the Jonam in Nebbi district.
'Plans to sell'
There are fears that the feud could turn bloodier.
“Now that people are being hacked and others missing, it is our hope that government will this time take the conflict between the Acholis and the Alur over Porongo land seriously,” said Okumu.
Charles Ongiertho, one of the victims, said they were prompted to visit their land after they got information that a meeting was organised at Porongo to have it sold.
“We got information that, a meeting was organised by the local leaders in Nwoya to have our land sold, and that is why we wanted to go,” he said, “unfortunately we fell in ambush of the Acholis who were armed to the teeth.”
A police source who spoke to New Vision on condition of anonymity, said one person, a resident of Gulu town, has been arrested over of the incident.
Robert Okumu, the Nebbi district LC5 chairman, condemned the action, and called on the leaders of Nwoya to respect the people of Alur.
He said such a scenario was witnessed at a time when Nwoya was carved out of Gulu.
“Let Nwoya leaders reign over their people, otherwise this is not the spirit of brotherhood.”