Former LRA Captives Struggle to Find Partners

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In short
Jennifer Atim, 30, a resident of Adilang Sub County in Agago district says that after spending three years in captivity she returned home in 2004 with a one-year-old boy. Atim shares that she is enduring stigma and stereotypes as both boys and men in her community shun her

Former abductees of the Lord's Resistance Army - LRA rebels are still finding difficulty getting marriage partners years after returning from captivity.

An estimated over 15,000 women and girls were abducted at the height of LRA rebellion in Acholi and have since returned to the community with fatherless children. The mothers have lost connections with the men who impregnated them and cannot trace homes of the children born in captivity.

Although the children were born out of rape and sexual enslavement by the LRA captors, the women are seen as prostitutes, and the children, as visible evidence of the loss of virginity before marriage, a taboo in Acholi culture. Their children are ultimately rejected by the community and possible partners.

Jennifer Atim, 30, a resident of Adilang Sub County in Agago district says that after spending three years in captivity, she returned home in 2004 with a one-year-old boy. Atim shares that she is enduring stigma and stereotypes as both boys and men in her community shun her.
 
Cue in; "An abino arii….
Cue out…dong pekke."//
 
Lucy Acen, another single mother who was abducted from Abim district in 2004 and returned to her home in Agago in 2007 says that she has endured harassment with her child and now finds it very difficult to confide in any man for fear of embarrassment.
 
Cue in: "An ikare me….
Cue out…obedo katime."//
 
Grace Ociti, a Member of the Amnesty Commission acknowledged that children fathered by LRA fighters are targets of reprisals in several communities across northern Uganda. Ociti called on stakeholders to engage in dialogue.

Ociti also appealed to the potential men to embrace female returnees for marriage and rubbished as mythical claims that female returnees are tyrants in a relationship.
 
Cue in: "So it is through….
Cue out…our concern really."//
 
Rebel leader Joseph Kony formed the LRA in northern Uganda in 1987 as part of the struggle to oust President Yoweri Museveni. In the early 1990's, the LRA conflict spread over Uganda's borders into eastern and central regions of South Sudan.

According to the United Nations, the LRA is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths and abducted between 60,000 and 100,000 children, forcing many of the boys to become soldiers and the girls to be sex slaves for fighters.