ADJUMANI. A district youth chairman of Adjumani district has made claims that a section of senior security officials are behind the continued logging of protected tree species and charcoal burning.

Mr Godfrey Dima said he is reliably informed that trucks of logs and charcoal have been driven out of Adjumani under the security of the police and other security officials who have been assigned in the area to protect the endangered tree species and dealings in tree products.

This revelation came at a time when a team of Adjumani district forest enforcement officials backed by the police impounded two fuso lorries full of charcoal and destined to Kampala and arrested its driver together with another woman suspected to be the owner of the business.

Adjumani district council in December last year slapped a ban on sale and transportation of any tree product including charcoal, logs and timbers but the lucrative business has continued despite rhetorics by politicians and public servants that they would end it.

The staff of Adjumani forestry enforcement department who spoke to West Nile Web on conditions of anonymity because they are not allowed to speak to the press said the tracks were impounded at around 3am on Wednesday morning as they were negotiating their way out of the district.

Dima also accused some of the district leaders and local authorities in Itirikwa Sub County where most of the forests of of conniving with the unscrupulous dealers in the banned tree and forest products.

But the officer in charge of Adjumani central police station Mr Jackson Maumbe denied the claims saying police as an institution can never indulge in any illegitimate business and advised members of the public to report individual police officers who are involved in charcoal deals to the office of the district police commander for immediate action.

He said the police backed the forest enforcement team in the operations and denied the involvement of the police in charcoal and logging deals.