ZOMBO: Hundreds of Congolese mostly Alur by tribe have fled to Uganda as clashes between clan leaders intensify near the boarder town of Padea and Jangokoro sub county Zombo district in Uganda’s west Nile sub-region.
Many of these asylum seekers are currently taking refuge at the border town of Padea and some parts of Jangokoro sub county in Zombo district .
Days ago, the clan chief of Padea Papinu David Wanican Ovon Malyamungu with his subjects in DRC are said to have clashed with his brother, who also has his own followers in a battle of who should own bigger share of the clan Land.
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Reports also indicate that the battle between the two warring factions have intensified resulting into displacements and loss of lives.
Padea Papinu clan that has it’s palace is in DRC falls under the Alur Kingdom. The clan boasts of 1000s of subjects who cut across Uganda and DRC since the political boundary is not considered by Alur Kingdom.
One of the asylum seekers Ozelle Abedkane who is taking refuge in Padea town council zombo district said they went through serious beatings and punishment on the orders of the area local chief who accused them of fueling land conflict in the area, and he appeals for assistance from higher authorities from both Uganda and DRC to settle the dispute peacefully.
“We were subjected to different forms of abuse like beatings and other punishments but we managed to escape. The local chief Malyamungu Ovon has accused us of conniving with his brother to attack his palace. we can’t go back unless higher authorities in Uganda and DRC are involved”-Abedkane explained.
Many are struggling to put through given their different basic needs like food, shelter, amongst others notwithstanding the local community’s effort to accommodate them.
Another asylum seeker Obedgiu Omirambe while speaking to this publication says they moved through thick and thin to come to Uganda for rescue.
“We traveled through the night to get to Uganda, the chief has arrested many of us and they are going through harsh treatments that side of Congo. You can’t expect me to go back when things are not right there”-Obedgiu says
One of the locals in Padea town council Oboko Lotha who is taking care of some of the asylum seekers says they can’t risk sending the victims any where since they are all Alur community.
“I’m taking care of over 20 people alone and the numbers keeps on increasing daily. Since we have notified our political leaders, we shall keep them because we are the same people with similar culture and tradition”.Oboko stressed.
This has added another fuel in the fire taking into account that, over 600 asylum seekers from Eastern DRC who crossed into Uganda between December last year and January this year are taking refuge along the boarder sub counties of Jangokoro, Aka, Kango, Zeu, Alangi, and Padea town council in Zombo district and are surviving on their own.
Talking to this publication about the incident, the accused clan chief of Padea papinu David Wanican Ovon Malyamungu from DRC accused the victims who are taking refuge in Uganda of attacking his palace under the command of his brother.
“Those are the very people who combined efforts to burn my palace. They destroyed a lot of things here that’s why i contacted security and my local guards to hunt them down” Malyamungu claimed before revealing that a high end reconciliation talks has been held out of which he pardoned all his subjects.
“However we held a meeting with officials from Congo here to iron out the issue which is causing suffrage of some innocent people. I have forgiven them on condition that they come back to Congo and beg for forgiveness other wise what they did was wrong” Malyamungu said.
Nonetheless, the claim about reconciliation talks that wouldn’t be independently verified by this publication was pinpointed by most asylum seekers in Uganda as a trap.
The LC 3 chairperson of Padea town council Melki Onyutha Orwothuwun has revealed to this publication that many people from DRC are taking refuge in his town council .
Onyutha added that the office of the Zombo district Resident District Commissioner has given the council a leeway to profile all the asylum seekers as high level talks are ongoing between Uganda and Congolese Authorities to resolve the issue amicably.
“We have many of them here in our villages. We call upon our people to take care of the refugees as we are planning to profile them on orders of the RDC of Zombo district. They will go back after authorities in Uganda and DRC meet to forge their peaceful hand over” Onyutha explained.
When a delegation from Teritoire De Mahagi in Ituri province DRC and Uganda from Zombo district had an emergency meeting in Zombo district early this month, the RDC of Zombo Rtd Lt col Pius Alitema and Claude Tumba Kalala the, deputy commissioner of Mahagi Territory agreed to work together for the peaceful co-existance of citizens between the two states most of whom share similar tradition and culture.
Recently, a clash between Ugandans and Congolese community along the boarder town of Padea and Abanga sub county in Zombo district over Territorial boundaries were also resolved by authorities in the district and Mahagi Territory at Acu cell Jupandidu ward Padea town council.
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