The Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs is currently undertaking an oversight tour in the Kasese Sub-region to assess the violent clashes in the district.
This follows the recent bloody clashes in the sub-region between security forces and the civilians in Kasese district and those between Bamba and Bakonzo tribes in Bundibugyo district since February this year.
Nine people have so far died in Kasese, while 30 perished in the Bakonzo, Bamba clashes.
While speaking to the Elders’ Forum in Kasese, the Committee Chairperson, Hon. Benny Namugwanya Bugembe (Mubende) said the committee was exercising its oversight role so that it can report to Parliament which would advise the government on a way forward.
“We decided to meet you (the elders) first because we believe you are the custodians of history about the clashes in Kasese in order to get to the root cause of the problem,” Bugembe said.
Bamusede Bwambale, the leader of the Elders’ Forum said the causes of the clashes can be traced back to the time when Amin granted Bundibugyo a district status.
He said the Yiira people from DRC who felt marginalised by their government wanted to merge with the Bakonzo in Kasese and form their own state with the Omusinga of Rwenzururu Kingdom as their head.
He added that a number of the Basongora who are predominantly cattle keepers had moved away from their land to search for better grazing areas but, when they returned they found most of their land occupied by the Bakonzo and some gazetted as national parks.
“This is just a Palestine – Israel kind of conflict,” Bwambale said. He further requested for the government’s continued intervention in peace creation within the area.
The Committee is also expected to meet with the Omusinga of Rwenzururu Kingdom to pave a way forward on the issue and get his view.