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Two arrested over deadly clashes in disputed Apaa area

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Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah interacts with Fourth Infantry Division Commander Gen Bonny Bamwiseki during a visit in Apaa. URN photo

Adjumani, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Security authorities in Adjumani district are holding two people in connection to deadly clashes that claimed the life of one person and left two others severely injured last week in the disputed Apaa area in Ngoro village, Itirikwa sub county.

The suspects, a 50-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man whose names have been withheld for security reasons were arrested on Sunday afternoon from their homes in Mungula Parish. They were picked up in a joint operation conducted by the Police and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF soldiers.

It follows an attack orchestrated by a group of armed men from the Acholi community against their counterparts of Madi in Ngoro village in Mungula Parish on Wednesday last week. Capt. Hassan Ahmed Kato, the Fourth Infantry Division Spokesperson says security personnel who had been trailing suspects since last week’s attacks followed bloodstains that led them to the suspect’s homes on Sunday afternoon.

“Bloodstains led the joint force of UPF and UPDF close to the homes of the suspects,” he said. He says the suspects who are safe in their custody will assist in the investigations following the attack on the Madi community.

Capt. Kato however appealed to both communities to maintain calmness and stop attacking each other as “the gov’t is doing everything possible to sort the matter peacefully”. Adjumani Resident District Commissioner, Peter Taban Data said that it was still premature to divulge any details on the ongoing operation.

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Taban says security is still on the ground following up suspects on their lists, arguing that disclosing more details about the arrest and operation will alert other suspects to flee into hiding. “Security is still doing their thing, that one we don’t disclose it, you know somebody has been killed so if security is arresting somebody, why do you people also want to know about it? If I give you the information, what if the friend hears, will they not run away?” he asked.

Taban told URN in an interview on Friday that one person was still missing from the Wednesday attack, adding that security has only managed to recover his cap and his whereabouts remain unknown. On Thursday last week, the army and police jointly foiled a revenge attack by a group of armed men from the Madi Community who had reportedly planned to retaliate against locals in Zoka.

The relationship among the Madi and Acholi occupying the contested Apaa township has been sour over the years following a move by the government to demarcate the land formerly believed to be part of Amuru district in October 2017.



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