Monday May 5 2014

Two killed in Yumbe land wrangle

Mr Abiriga, the Yumbe RDC, inspects some of the

Mr Abiriga, the Yumbe RDC, inspects some of the burnt houses in a land conflict between the Oluba and Ambala clans. PHOTO BY ROBERT ELEMA 


A prolonged land dispute between Oluba and Ambala clans in Kei Sub-county, Yumbe District has killed two people and displaced more than 240 people.
Residents armed with knives, pangas, bows and arrows at the weekend attacked each other, killing t Samadu Atiku and Taban Aboloto. More than 140 residences were burnt down in the melee.

The displaced have taken refuge at Kei Sub-county headquarters with many forced to sleep in the cold.

The two tribes are separately claiming ownership of the disputed land measuring 10 kilometres.

The Oluba clan chairman, Mr Swadik Arumadri, said the matter is before court but “members of the Ambala clan have been acting so hostile towards us”.

“We had no intention of fighting members from the Ambala clan because some of them are our relatives,” he said.

Yumbe RDC Ibrahim Abiriga blamed the Judiciary for the confusion, claiming the institution is working in isolation and court failed to issue an injunction to stop all activities on the disputed land.

“If the appeal was thrown out, then the other party (Oluba clan) should have been informed as the decision to fence the disputed land was the main cause of the violence,” he said.

Deploying security
He said there is need to deploy more security personnel in the area because the situation continues to be fragile.

Mr Simon Toloko, the Yumbe Magistrate, said the lower court ended the case but clan members from Oluba made an appeal, which they abandoned and the case was dismissed in favour of Ambala.

Police led by the district OC CID, Mr Richard Ozua, fired bullets in the air to disperse rowdy residents.
“We have not yet arrested any suspect in connection with the violence but we need people but we need people to peaceful and land cases should not be used to divide clans,” he said.

Recently, this newspaper that youth in Yumbe District had attacked surveyors who had been surveying land that the government intends to give to a sugar company for planting sugarcane.

Many cases of land dispute have in the recent past taken violent trends as many Ugandans become jittery over land grabbing and forgery of land titles.

Court and violence In Court. Recently, the Magistrates Court in Yumbe ruled that the Ambala clan had the rightful claim in the 10 kilometre piece of land, a ruling which the Oluba clan appealed at the Chief Magistrate Court in Arua District

The violence. The ongoing fencing of the land is said to have sparked off violence with members of the Oluba clan claiming the matter was still in court. So the fencing was an illegal activity.