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Uganda :Several injured as police clash with Napak border protesters

Napak. The police on Saturday arrested six people who were protesting against the recent demarcation of the Napak-Katakwi border.

Mr. Richard Aruk Maruk the Mt. Moroto regional police commander confirmed the arrest saying those who have been arrested with charge for inciting violence.

“We didn’t give them permission to carry on with their protest. As police we shall not allow that and whoever will try to destabilize the peace that people of Karamoja are now enjoying will be arrested,” he said.

The protests were started after government on Wednesday last week opened up demarcations and declared Alekilek area which was known to be under Napak and corded it under Katakwi.

Several people including one police officer were seriously injured during the running battles and they are receiving treatment at Matany hospital.

The residents are demanding want Government to work with elders who know the issues of the border rather than politicians.

Angry protesters light a fire as they demonstrate against the Napak-Katwaki border. Photo by Steven Ariong

“We shall protest until our land is given back to us, we gave out our guns to Government but we are not ready to give out our land also,” said John Nagiro a protesting resident.

Patrick Moru, another resident in Alekilek expressed concern that authorities in Katakwi are likely to drive them out of their land since the demarcation shows that they are now under Katakwi.

“Before Katakwi chasing us away we shall die here and our bodies will be buried here because we have nowhere to go,” he said.

Barely two years ago, a border dispute erupted between Katakwi and Napak districts but the problem was resolved after  president Museveni’s meeting with the leaders of the two neighboring districts although what they discussed remain undisclosed.

Mr. Andrew Loucho the mayor of Lorengechora town council said they will not respect the boundary adding that they will go to court.

Mr. Joseph Lomonyang the LCV chairperson Napak said his district will not respect the boundaries saying the whole exercise was based on the minister of local government directives.

“If the people fight and kill (each other) the minister of Local government Mr. Tom Butime will also be blamed because it seems he had his own agenda,” he said.

According to Mr. Lomonyang, the minister could not allow any district official from Napak to give any clarification relating to the border when they had a meeting.

Protesters engage in a bitter exchange with police. Photo by Steven Ariong

Mr. Lomonyang said some people in government don’t appreciate the current peace that the people of Teso and Karamoja have enjoyed.

He said they don’t trust the 1962 mas which was being used claiming that it has been altered demanding that they the use original map of 1958.

“When you look at the map of 1958 it clearly indicates that Alekilek was under Napak but the late Cuthbert Obwango when he was minister during Dr. Obote’s regime altered that map in 1964.

By Daily Monitor

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