Activists have petitioned Prince Zeid, the United Nations [UN] Human Rights Commission, appealing to him not to ignore Apaa land grabbing in northern Uganda.
Milton Allimadi, a Ugandan critic based in US, started this petition to Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.
“Don’t ignore the ethnic-cleansing Land-Grab campaign by the Ugandan dictator of 32 years Gen. Yoweri Museveni. Help give the United Nations a good headline for a change: “UN Does The Right Thing…” Milton said in his online petition.
He went on: “As you know a violent land-grab campaign is being carried out by the armed forces throughout Uganda. Typically poor peasants are illegally evicted from their communal land and their homes stolen.”
He told the UN official that the land is then taken over by the Museveni regime’s military/political elite for themselves or for foreign investors, claiming the civilians have been killed.
“As you know, on July 11, about 200 victims of this ethnic-cleansing land-grab campaign from Apaa, in the northern part of Uganda, many whose homes had been torched, fled for shelter into the Gulu City offices of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. These include women and children. They are currently surviving on charitable food donations from well-wishers.”
He said the Apaa victims are also entitled to medical care while in the UN compound and protection from military action by the regime.
“Prince Zeid please don’t ignore the desperate pleas of the Apaa survivors for you to protect their lives and that you urge the Museveni regime to halt the violent illegal evictions and destruction of their homes and properties– all of which are illegal under international law.”
He added: “All they are asking for is for the U.N. to help them enjoy the rights they are entitled to under Uganda’s Constitution and International law, the right to life and property; and protection against illegal deprivation of those rights. These basic protections are guaranteed, for example, to UN employees in Uganda.”
Here is the full petition:
You know that the Apaa victims wrote you a letter outlining their suffering and grievances.
“Our people have been killed and maimed, our homes burned, and our property destroyed and looted by the very forces that should protect us as Ugandan citizens,” reads part of the letter, dated June 11, 2018 and signed on “behalf of affected communities of Apaa” by a local leader, Odoki Silvesto. “Since late 2017 alone, Uganda’s national army, the UPDF, have burned over 800 houses, caused three deaths, and perpetrated countless severe beatings of Apaa residents. Attacks on our homes are ongoing.”
Florence Anyeko, 48 years old, a mother of eight children is among the 200 people who walked from Acholi Ber village in Apaa, Labala parish, Pabbo Sub County, Amuru District.
They say they have no choice but to seek asylum in the U.N. compound because their homes at Acholi Ber village were set on fire by Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Uganda Police Force and Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF), in February, 2018.
Since then the UWA and UPDF have continued to raid their village and looted livestock including foodstuff, Anyeko said.
The Apaa victims’ demands are that you intervene to ensure that:
- Gen. Museveni order his armed forces, police forces and Wild Life armed authorities, to immediately halt attacks;
- The military road blocks in their Apaa communities be removed and the intimidation of civilians end;
- The Museveni regime obey a 2012 High Court order staying all evictions in Apaa;
- The Museveni regime compensate victims and their families for loss of life, injuries and for destroyed homes and;
- Sanctions be imposed against those responsible for the illegal attacks resulting in loss of life, property, and in injuries.
Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, hear the cries of the victims and survivors.