Police Block Acholi Chief’s March to Disputed Apaa Land

Police block Acholi chief and his subjects from accessing contested Apaa land
PHOTO - The Cooperator - Tensions Escalate as Acholi Chief and Leaders Are Halted on the Way to Apaa
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On Friday, September 15, 2023, security personnel thwarted a planned protest led by the Acholi Paramount Chief, David Onen Acana II, in the town of Apaa. The protest was organized in response to renewed violent clashes that occurred in Apaa on September 9, 2023.

Rwot David Onen Acana II, along with other local leaders and residents, had intended to travel to Apaa, located in the disputed borderlands between Amuru and Adjumani districts. However, their journey was halted at Pabbo Town Council in Amuru District amid concerns that their presence could further escalate tensions in the already troubled area.

The motivation behind the protest was to raise awareness about the alleged human rights abuses suffered by Apaa’s residents. Just one week prior to the planned protest, four individuals lost their lives, and four others sustained injuries in Apaa in an attack carried out by unidentified assailants. This incident added to the long-standing conflict between Amuru and Adjumani districts, both of which have laid claim to the Apaa area for several years.

Rwot Acana was not alone in his efforts. He was joined by notable figures such as Kilak County MP Gilbert Olanya, Kitgum Municipality MP Denis Onekalit Amere, and Amuru Woman MP Lucy Akello, alongside other community leaders. Their intended journey was ambitious, as they planned to march from Gulu City to Apaa Town, covering a distance of over 70 kilometers on foot.

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