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Amuru residents row with game reserve over land

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd June 2011 03:00 AM

Amuru residents have asked the Government to demarcate East Madi Wildlife Reserve boundaries. East Madi game reserve is situated in Adjumani district.

By Cornes Lubangakene

Amuru residents have asked the Government to demarcate East Madi Wildlife Reserve boundaries. East Madi game reserve is situated in Adjumani district.

The residents also want a boundary demarcated between Amuru and Adjumani districts. They said this would curb conflicts between them and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials.

The appeal follows destruction of the residents’ property by UWA officials. The officials burnt down 400 huts, killed domestic animals and birds and cut down fruit trees in Amuru district.

They alleged that the residents had settled on the game reserve land. Gilbert Olanya the Kilak MP, Col. Francis Acoka, the UPDF return and resettlement monitoring officer and Justino Ovuru, the Amuru district Police commander held a meeting with the residents and UWA officials in Lakang village in Amuru district.

The officials calmed down the angry residents who were armed with spears, bows and ready to fight the UWA officials who had guns. “We know where the boundary is and are ready to show it when the time comes,” Paul Ocaya, an elder in the area said.

He said to effect the demarcation exercise, the original map when Amuru and Adjumani were still part of Gulu and Moyo should be used. Julius Obwona, who led the UWA operational team, said: “We responded to orders from above, to carry out this eviction because these people are encroaching on the game reserve. They are also selling parts of the land to people from Gulu. This area was gazetted by an act of Parliament in 2002 to be a game reserve.”

However, Olanya said: “The law states that when the Government needs to gazette an area, people in the area must be consulted. But in 2002, residents were still in camps, so who was consulted?”

Amuru residents row with game reserve over land

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