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Briefing: Kagame Seeks Peaceful Resolution of Regional Differences; Acholi Write to Museveni

This is ChimpReports’ Daily Morning East Africa Intelligence Briefing.

The report gives readers an early morning grasp of what’s happening in the Great Lakes region.

The exclusive reports run from Monday to Friday.

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Kagame: Let’s Not Choose Conflict over Peace

Rwandan President Kagame has called for peaceful resolution of disagreements in the region, Chimp Corps report.

“If we had taken the path that many thought we would take, the situation would be worse off,” said Kagame on Monday.

“No one should choose conflict when there is a peaceful solution,” he emphasised.

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Kagame made the remarks while meeting with over 600 opinion leaders in Huye, Southern province as part of the annual Citizen Outreach campaign.

The President’s remarks come against the backdrop of heightened tension between Rwanda and Burundi.

Political leaders from both countries are expected to meet soon to iron out their differences.

Kagame said Rwanda “will continue to choose peaceful means. But there is a line that cannot be crossed.”

The President encouraged opinion leaders to address the mindset of their subjects to overcome daily challenges including poverty.

“How can you be carrying a heavy burden, and when you are offered a solution, you reject it. No one should be teaching us how heavy the burden of poverty is. What kind of person are you when you refuse to do what it takes to ease your own burden?” wondered Kagame.

The president will later today interact with the people of Nyamagabe.

Acholi Association Pen Letter to Museveni over West Nile Land Grabbing

A battalion of UPDF soldiers was recently established in the Apaa conflict zone

The Acholi Association, a group of Acholi based in United Kingdom and Ireland have written to President Museveni, asking him to do more to protect the people of Apaa and other neighbouring areas displaced by large scale land grabbing.

“The main purpose of this letter is to get your government to immediately protect the people of Apaa. To ensure that the injured and displaced are provided with basic amenities and returned to their respective places and to prosecute the villains,” reads the letter dated February 8, 2019.

“Your Government must provide a peaceful and sustainable solution while recognising the rights of the indigenous as defined by UN,” the letter adds.

The First Deputy Prime Minister, Gen Moses Ali, has been pointed out as the person fueling a deadly land conflict in West Nile.

The land row, nearly turned into a tribal conflict between the Madi and Acholi, started when Ministry of Local Government re-demarcated the boundaries of Amuru and Adjumani districts last year.

Locals who have been internally displaced from Zoka C village on the borders of two districts recently told a delegation of security inter-agency team led by Brig. Henry Isoke that Gen Ali was behind their troubles.

In 2015, Government demarcated the boundary between Amuru and Adjumani amidst protests from the people of Amuru.

The leaders of Amuru said that the process only involved people from Adjumani and that the boundary was extended inside Amuru.

Since then, the area has witnessed conflicts which have led to deaths, destruction of property as well as displacement of residents.

The Acholi Association claimed Government has not put in place any meaningful measures to resolve these internecine conflicts targeting Acholi people and persons.

“The perpetrators and people involved in these violations including Gen Moses Ali, the Deputy Prime Minister, are well-placed and known members of your Government. There must be or should be clear and relevant preventive measures to protect all citizens and the public from attacks of this nature,” said the Acholi Association.

According to IDPs that spoke to ChimpReports at Zoka C Camp,  General Ali ordered that all land in his district belong to his tribesmen. This meant that occupants had to vacate the land.

Since then, acts of land grabbing, forceful evictions have become common leading to death, displacement and loss of property.

Displaced persons accuse the retired general of ferrying people from neighboring districts like Moyo into Zoka where they have forcefully evicted locals and taken over their homes and gardens.

Mr Christopher Okot , the LC 1 Chairman, said that since January this year, 96 homes of Acholi community have forcefully been taken over by the Madi.

He said that more than 400 homes have been torched in the conflict which has left 5357 people homeless.

Defence spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire said the joint assessment team “found the situation very calm in Apaa which is within the Protected Game Reserve.”

He said the UPDF Battalion recently deployed in Zoka C has “greatly improved the security situation in the area between River Zoka and River Golobi where inter communal violence caused displacement.”

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