Activists Decry Syndicated Exploitation of Valuable Tree Species.

Environmental activists have decried syndicated illegal exploitation of valuable tree species in Northern Uganda.
This comes at the backdrop of alarming felling of the indigenous Afzelia Africana tree species in Gulu, Amuru, Lamwo, Kitgum and parts of Omoro districts for timber and logs.
The activists say trucks loaded with Afzelia Africana logs and charcoal bags traverse the districts daily enroute to Central Uganda.
Arthur Owor, the founding board member of the pressure group our trees, we need answers said the business is involving powerful army and police officers as well as district leaders.
He noted that this has made the fight to preserve the environment difficult since such officers think that they are immune to the law.
Another member, Benson Ongom named that two Gulu district officials and army officers were last year implicated in the business but walked free.
In Amuru, Michael Lakony the district chairperson also traded blames on sub county chairpersons and councilors for accepting money for tree cutting and movement permits for trucks loaded with charcoal and logs.
Lakony said fighting for environmental justice is politically influenced. He revealed that he is equally battling a court case of aggravated robbery stemming from trying to stop illegal charcoal business in the district.
Also the Pabbo Sub County Five Councilor, Richard Abola P`Lacaka revealed that he is facing up to five charges in police after he impounded charcoal trucks last year.
Aswa river region police spokesperson, Patrick Jimmy Okema similarly accused politicians of interfering with police efforts in protecting the environment.
Col. John Mugarwa, the forth division army barracks Division Operation and Training Officer-DOTO however noted that the army as an institution should not be attacked because individual officers flaws.
Tonny Kitara a lead advocate at Barenza and Co. Advocates advised the activists to name and shame the officers so that they restrain from their actions.
By Emmy Daniel Ojara .Gulu.

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