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Land disputes threaten northern peace
Inter communal disputes over land and the allocation of land to private investors for cultivation, could threaten peace in parts of northern Uganda, warn officials.
So far in 2012, at least five people have been killed in violent land disputes in the villages of Lakang, Apar and canada goose coats Pabbo in the northern district of Amuru. Two more people were killed, in late 2011, in neighbouring Nwoya cheap Canada Goose District.
At present, the Acholi and Langi communities in Pader District, also in the north, are in dispute over ancestral land in Pader’s Acwinyo and Lamincwida villages. While the two communities are not armed, there has been traditional animosity between them.
Other reported land disputes in canadian goose jacket the region involve:
The Madi and Acholi communities in Adjumani and Amuru https://www.st-edwards-cam.org.uk districts. canada goose outlet uk Both claim ownership of the border areas of Apar and Joka in Pabbo sub cheap canada goose county and Alegu and Bibia in Atiak sub county (the sub counties of Pabbo and Atiak are in Amuru District);
The Acholi communities in Labala and Palwong in Pabbo sub county (inter clan land disputes);
The Alur of Nebbi District and the Acholi of Nwoya District over ownership of the areas of Got Opwoyo and Nyamokino;
The Langi Canada Goose Online of Oyam District and the Acholi of Nwoya District over the Lii area in Koch Goma sub county, Nwoya District.
The resettlement Canada Goose online of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Agoro, Lokung and Madi Opei sub counties of Lamwo District goose outlet Canada Goose Jackets canada has also been hampered by land disputes.
These communities are part of an estimated 1.8 million people in northern Uganda who were forced into protected villages by the army; they began returning home in 2006 when the rebelLord’s Resistance Army (LRA) moved into neighbouring countries.
But some of the returnees found their canada goose land, which they had presumed was canada goose outlet shop lying idle, occupied by strangers, family members with no rights to the land, and people who left the protected villages before those with official canada goose outlet rights to the land.
With few if any possessions to start a new life, land has become a very prized and fiercely defended possession for the returnees, according to an April 2011report entitled Escalating Land Grabbing In Post conflict Regions of Northern Uganda: A Need for Strengthening Good Land Governance in Acholi Region.
Some of canada goose outlet the LRA soldiers sit outside, Sudan, April 2007Northern Uganda IDPs began returning home when the LRA moved canada goose outlet sale into neighbouring countries
Acholi Region comprises the districts of Agago, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, canada goose outlet black friday Lamwo, Nwoya and Pader.
Uncertain boundary demarcations such as trees and stone markers, which may have been lost or shifted over the years of conflict, have exacerbated land disputes, as has the presence of a youthful regional population with an estimated median age of 14 for females and 13 for males, the report said.
“Most of the elders who knew about the land died in IDP camps. The remaining ones have become liars. They can’t show the boundaries,” Francis Okot, a resident of Otwee village in Amuru District, told IRIN.
Land in northern Uganda is held under customary tenure. The lack of official land ownership documents is one of the reasons people canada goose outlet reviews fear losing their land.
The government is currently issuing customary ownership certificates in parts of the region; but this is drawing mixed reactions.
“It might go a long way to address the land conflicts as long as it’s properly done. It could be a mitigating measure to the land issue in the region,” said Howard Ayo, a Kitgum resident.
According canada goose outlet nyc to Godfrey Akena, Pader District Council chairperson, “the issuance of land certificates is good but not timely Let the government wait with their certificates until when everything is OK and people are no longer talking about land disputes.”
According to analysts, statutory and customary land laws contain ambiguities. Earlier laws, for example, gave landowners with 12 or canada goose outlet uk sale more years occupancy legitimate rights over the land. During the civil war this allowed canada goose factory outlet some powerful individuals to claim legitimate rights over some communal land.
Uganda’s National Land Policy, which was drafted following the setting up of a National Land Policy Working Group in 2011 to deliver a framework guiding land use in national development, provides for the setting up of a customary land registry to support the registration of land rights under customary tenure and to issue Certificates of Title of Customary Ownership, giving rights equal to freehold tenure.
But it is yet to pass into law. “The last draft we have in [is] as of March 2011. However, one year later, it has not been passed yet. A lot of developments that would be addressed by the policy continue to occur unguided and at a whirlwind speed,” Deo Tumusiime, Uganda Land Alliance’s communication officer, told IRIN.
“We believe that when passed into law, the policy will help to address a number of questions, some of which have led to bloodshed questions of land inheritance, inconsistencies arising from colonial mistakes, Canada Goose Parka women and land, minorities, land administration, compulsory acquisition, and lately the vice of land grabbing
“For a key resource like land, which is a question of life and death for many, you cannot afford to politicize it. The policy must apply to all citizens irrespective of political, religious or socio economic background, but taking into consideration the peculiar interests of the voiceless Ugandans.”
Against this background, the allocation of land in parts of northern Uganda to investors has exacerbated residents’ fears of land grabbing. Some of the fears may be genuine while others canada goose outlet new york city are fuelled by politicians, analysts say.
“People think the government wants to grab land. It’s going to be [a] hindrance to development if the land issue is not addressed,” said Betty Bigombe, Uganda’s water minister and a former negotiator with the LRA.