Seven people are nursing serious injuries after they were reportedly hacked with machetes in a land row involving two rival clans in Lobalokodi village, Madi Opei Sub County, Lamwo district.
The victims currently receiving treatment at Madi-opei Health Center IV in Madi-opei Sub-county were attacked from their homes on Tuesday morning.
Two grass-thatched huts and undisclosed numbers of household properties were also reportedly torched and destroyed in the attack that started over the weekend and escalated on Tuesday morning involving Pobura and Pobira clans.
The injured include Yolam Otti 36, James Anywar, 17, Ben Odera 51, John Abonga 49, Thomas Okello 60, Victor Okello 68 and Patrick Juma 49, all members of the Pobura clan who were attacked by the Pobira clan members.
John Abonga, one of the victims says the attackers stormed their home at about 6 am and torched a hut. Abonga says he and other relatives rushed to the scene to save the blazing hut but on return to his home, he was attacked by a group of men before being hacked on the head.
Land in contention at Oryang village in Pobura Parish is estimated to measure around 30,000 hectares which is being used by so many clans including the two.
Lamwo Resident District Commissioner James Nabinson Kidega says preliminary investigations point to a purported court document being circulated in the community that indicates the Pobura clan members won a court case against Pobira over the land in Oryang village.
Kidega says the document whose outcome is still disputed sparked off excitement among the Pobura clan which in turn has angered their rival fueling an attack. Kidega says he has resolved to move with five members from each of the rivalling clans on Monday to the Chief Magistrate in Kitgum to understand whether there has been a recent court ruling in favour of one of them.
Charles Obong Okwera, the Madi opei Sub-county Chairperson, said the land wrangle between the two clans started way back in the early 1980s until 1989 when it was interrupted by the LRA insurgency before it’s resumed in 2012 to update.
At least four people have been arrested following the incident and are being detained at Lamwo Central Police station according to security officials. Robert Kachumu, the DPC Lamwo identified the suspects as Sam Nyangweso, the LC1 chairperson Labolokodi village, Jolly Joe Ochan, Allan Ongiya and Walter Canokema.
Police and the UPDF are currently deployed in the areas where both clans live to quell down more attacks.