- The controversies over the disputed land started in 2013 where both communities started claiming the ownership of over 500 acers of land which later resulted into burning of over 100 huts where people remained homeless
- More than 200 school going children were forced to drop from school when the two communities clashed over disputed land and calls for government supports to reinstate the Agule community on their land
By Okaba Patrick
Nebbi- Elders from Acer and Agule communities in Ndhew sub county in Nebbi district performed cultural rituals as avenue of reconciling the two communities to end the prolonged land dispute between the two communities of Agule and Acer Owilo.
The ritual was initiated by Alur Kingdom to re-unite the departed communities who had stayed together for quite number of years before they disagreed over disputed land in Acer East, Ndhew sub county in Nebbi District in 2018.
The bloody land disputes between the two communities of Agule and Acer Owilo last year left one person dead when the two communities attacked each other over the land.
According to some elders from both Acer and Agule communities, the rituals were done as a way of cleansing reconciliation process of the two communities for the murder committed by Agule community when they were attacked by Acer Owilo community such that the two communities could be united.
How the rituals were done
The rituals that were performed by the two communities involved elders from both sides. Agule community were represented by Anyolitho Sebby while Acer Owilo were represented by Ochonji Livingstone. The rituals were done by tying of spear grass, drinking of local brew (kwete) and slaughtering of a white sheep as a way of bringing unity among the disputed communities together.
Livingstone Ochonji, one of the elders from Acer Owilo says there is need to perform cultural rituals before the two come together since the land conflict was bloody which left one of his sons dead.
Anyolitho Sebby says, violence is not the right ways of solving problems but, use the available stakeholders like cultural leaders to solve their differences.
However, some elders who declined to be named from Acer Owilo opposed the rituals performed saying, it was illegally organized without involving their clan chief since he has the mandate to host the ritual team and kingdom officials.
The deputy Prime Minister Alur kingdom who also doubles as minister of culture Mr. Maractho Omirambe says, there is need to reconcile the community of Agule and Acer since school is going to open soon.
“Government must perform their tasks to bring the two communities together since cultural institution are doing their rituals to ensure no blood shed.”
The RDC of Nebbi Mr. William Labeja Bob says, if the reconciliation organized by the cultural leaders fail, government will take over the matter to ensure Agule community is taken back to their land.
“We shall not allow anyone to disturb the peace of one another over simple matter which can be handled, but if it fails, we shall arrest those proved to ringleaders,” Labeja said.