Gulu Residents Hold Requiem Mass for LRA War Victims

1368 Views Gulu, Uganda
Communities in northern Uganda are taking small, but sure steps to rebuilding their lives after the devastating 20 year guerilla war fought by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Over the weekend residents of Bal Iya, a village in Gulu district, held a large requiem mass in honor of hundreds of their family members, neighbours and friends who were killed in the war. Tony Odur, an elder in Bal Iya, said tradition dictates that the dead must be properly honored in order for the village to be cleansed and for new life to begin. He said it was previously impossible to hold the ceremony because of the existing insecurity and the fact that many of the villagers were living away from their homes in camps for the internally displaced. Simon Larok, the sub-county boss of Pakito, where Bal Iya is located, said the requiem service also served as an opportunity for reconciliation among residents. //Cue in: iThrough this kind #i Cue out: i# a binding factor.i// In addition to the requiem mass, several cultural rituals are being held to cleanse the village of the violent bloodshed.