Tuesday August 26 2014

8 injured in protest over NFA land evictions


At least eight people have been injured and five arrested as armed police and anti-stock security unit enter the third day firing live and rubber ammunition at residents of Amusmus village, Kapelebyong Sub County, Amuria district protesting the alleged land grabbing by National forest authority.
The residents told Daily Monitor that most of the injured people have been denied access to Kapelebyong health Centre IV for first aid as the armed security persons continue to cordon off the road leading to the unit as the NFA officials undertake their surveying.

The woman LC5 councilor for Kapelebyong, Ms Ketty Akol identified some of the injured as Jimmy Okello, Sam Opolot, Peter Egaru, Paul Okello, Albert Eriku, Joseph Ebitu and Rose Akol. Those arrested are John Kokas Okurut,Olele,Opupa and Itabu.

She said the injured persons had fractured hands and legs as result of rubber bullets being aimed at them by the armed officers.
“The locals don’t dispute the existence of the NFA land but they(NFA) has swayed into peoples land,” Ms Akol reiterated.
Ms Rose Akol, one of the injured and pregnant mother alleges that she was seriously beaten and injured by armed policemen who got her heaping potatoes in her garden.
“After camp life we thought to resettle back to our land, now they are saying it’s not ours, where should we then settle,” she appeared to ask.
However, drama ensued on Monday after victims of the alleged police brutality stormed a local radio station and poured gristles of live and rubber ammunitions inside the conference hall in protest of Philip Acaye, the regional police commander's argument that they were not using live bullets against the protesters.

Mr Acaye, who was being hosted on the radio to clarify why his juniors were using excessive force on unarmed civilians earlier said on air that those were fabrications by the local politicians.
This angered the victims, some of whom are said to have been receiving medication at Soroti hospital to storm the radio with cartilages from the bullets shot at them.
The over 4600hectare land in contention , is said to have been gazette in 1948, according to Tom Khabusi, a boundary survey expert at NFA.