The community of Atiak sub county, Amuru district is struggling to preserve the memory of their dear ones who were massacred by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels sixteen years ago.
Despite the fact that the Atiak massacre occurred in 1995, the community has failed to establish an official record of the victims of the massacre. Every year, during the annual memorial anniversary, pronouncements are made about the need to document the victims in vain.
George William Odong, the chairman of the Atiak community says that they are still in the process to document the names of the people who were either killed or wounded in the attack including those who lost relatives and property. He however explains that they have failed to achieve their goal because of lack of funds.
Anthony Omach Atube, Amuru LC5 chairperson who last year said he would oversee the documentation exercise said today that the victims are difficult to trace because they have since resettled in various areas.
Omach said he has placed announcements on local radio stations asking people whose relatives were killed or wounded in the massacre to submit the details for documentation.
He explains that the names would be inscribed on a modern plague they intend to erect at the memorial site of the massacre. He adds that they also plan to improve the memorial site that presently appears abandoned and withered due to neglect.
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As it is every April 20, today several people traveled to Atiak to commemorate the day over 200 people were killed LRA rebels. Some people have however been querying the necessity to hold such ceremonies saying they should let the people live on.
But transitional justice experts say the memorials are important in helping the communities to recover from the conflict. Robert Opira, the director of The Great Lakes Center for Conflict Resolution says that while it is necessary for justice to be served to the victims, it important that they live in peace and forge unity with their fellow community members.
Opira maintains that such public events and memorials help the communities to heal and reconcile and they move from a past of conflict and rights abuse to peace.
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commemoration for victims of atiak massacre