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UPC calls for independent probe into deadly Apaa clashes

The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has asked Government to set up an independent committee to probe the clashes in Adjumani and Amuru districts.

Addressing journalists at the party’s weekly press briefing at the party headquarters in Kampala, the party’s spokesperson Michael Orach Osinde said government needs to first explore the real cause of the clashes for the problem to be easily solved.

Ethnic clashes broke out between the Madi and Acholi people over Apaa land on Wednesday last week, leaving four people dead and 21 injured. The clash also left hundreds of people from Ajuka village displaced.

However, Police and Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have since deployed heavily in the area to enforce peace.

“These people have always lived as brothers and we have witnessed intermarriages. Nothing has changed through the years because the population has not much increased to cause land conflicts in the area. Now we are wondering how these conflicts have come up this time,” Osinde said.

He noted that the probe team needs to engage the clan leaders and elders from both sides to understand the real cause.

“We have a feeling that some people might be orchestrating all this for their own interests. If thorough investigations are not done, we shall not get to the cause and get a lasting solution,” he said.

On Tuesday, while speaking at a briefing attended by clan chief and leaders from the mainly affected areas, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Moses Ali noted that the clashes were not tribal, but somewhat political, accusing some ‘elements’ of instigating the chaos that broke out last week.

Osinde stressed that there is also the need to spearhead a reconciliation process to promote lasting peace in the area. He said it is the mandate of government to make sure that its people are safe.

UPC also commended the increase of allocations to various sectors in the budget, but stressed that much emphasis needs to be put on creating more jobs; which remains the biggest challenge to the country.

“UPC notes that there was less attention paid in the budgetary allocation to skills enhancement. A large percentage of our working age population lack the necessary skills to take advantage of the jobs that foreign direct investment in infrastructure continue to be filled by the citizens of the source investment,” Osinde noted.

He said more emphasis also needs to be put on the agriculture holistically being the biggest employer, accounting for about 75% of the country’s population.

“Government needs to take charge of establishing silos to end the problems of food shortage in future like what the country has been going through of recent. They should also focus more on promoting environment conservation like wetlands, forests, lakes and river banks because they play a big role in the change of environment,” he added.
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