Kitgum to Document Missing Persons

2341 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Kitgum district local council has proposed establishment of a database to document particulars of persons who went missing during the Lords Resistance Army--LRA--insurgency.

Kitgum district local council has proposed establishment of a database to document particulars of persons who went missing during the Lord's Resistance Army - LRA - insurgency.
 
This follows a motion moved by Titus Oryema, the councillor for Omiya-Anyima Sub-County in Kitgum district during the council sitting this week.
 
Oryema wants a database established and a day of remembrance set aside in memory of those who went missing, due to the LRA insurgency between 1988 and 2006. He argues that the affected families continue to suffer distress due to their loss and this calls for action towards healing of the people. 
 
'This council needs to move to provide remedial social welfare program that will help alleviate the distress in the affected families, he adds.
 
Oryema says documenting the missing and remembering the dead is one way to facilitate internal healing, something the cattle or seedlings distributed to the victims cannot do.
 
Oryema accompanied the motion with a list of 30 names of persons believed to have gone missing as a result of the insurgency.
 
James Okello P'Okidi, the Community Development Officer Kitgum says the motion is timely given the much-needed healing in the region.
 
He relates this to transitional justice policy that is still before cabinet, saying failure to approve the policy leads to a delay in the healing and reconciliation process in the region.
 
Okello says some people have ended up committing suicide after they have failed to come to terms with their loss.
 
The transitional justice policy remains in its draft form before cabinet since May 2013. It seeks to among others combine mechanisms of formal criminal prosecutions, traditional justice, truth telling, reparations, amnesty and reconciliation.
 
If approved, the policy will push government to provide for the establishment of a national truth telling process and implementation of a reparations program for victims affected by conflict.
 
Loum Simon Peter, Kitgum district speaker deferred the matter to the department of Community Development for analysis. The department was tasked to produce a report that will inform future council decisions on the matter.
 
The LRA rebels built a reputation for their brutality in Uganda, South Sudan, D R Congo and Central African republic. Some of the atrocities in Uganda include Atiak massacre in April 1995 where at least 300 people were massacred in one day; the July 23th 2002 massacre at Mucwini that left 56 people dead; the February 21st 2004 attack at Barlonyo in Lira that left at least 150 people dead and the June 15th 2003 massacre at Obalanga in Amuria district in which at least 300 people were killed.

 

About the author

Annet Lekuru
Annet Lekuru is the Uganda Radio Network bureau chief for Arua. She is new in this post, assigned August 2016. However, she is no stranger to URN subcribers and readers.

Lekuru started her journalism career in 2011 with training from Radio Paris where she worked until April 2015. She started writing for URN in May 2015 as a freelance reporter.

Lekuru loves and continues to admire URN because of the reporter privilege to identify and report on issues close to one's heart which offers an opportunity to the reporter to develop a passion in a beat and report on it exhaustively.

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