3 February 2006

Uganda: Forestry Officials Arrested Over Evictions

Kampala — FOUR employees of National Forest Authority (NFA) have been arrested in connection with unlawfully evicting people from the disputed Southern Busoga Forest Reserve in Mayuge district.

There are over 2,000 people currently living in 10 villages in Kityerera and Malongo sub-counties.

The Police have been deployed in the area to protect the residents from harassment, the regional Police commander, Jerome Baryeyanga, said on Tuesday.

Baryeyanga however, declined to name the suspects, saying it would jeopardise investigations.

"The suspects are yet to appear before Mayuge grade one court to answer to charges of causing malicious damage and assault," he said.

A statement issued by state minister for environment Jeje Odongo said eviction from the disputed land has been halted but discouraged further encroachment on the forest reserve.

The development ends a decade-long feud that has seen scores of settlers subjected to violence, which sometimes resulted in destruction of property and death.

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