Kitgum War Memorial Centre's Lessons Ignored by Ugandans

3419 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
John Komakech Ogwok, the manager of the museum, attributes the lack of interest from Ugandan researchers to ignorance of its existence. He says foreign researchers get access to the museum through the website, which the locals do not visit.

The best resource for information on the effects of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebellion in Uganda, the Kitgum War Memorial Museum, continues to be ignored by Ugandan researchers.

The museum, built to help create a better understanding of one of Africa's longest running rebellions, was opened in April 2011.

Since its opening, a host of researchers, mainly from Europe, have been flocking the museum to learn more about the 25 year-old war, its cause and impact on the population. 

The few Africans who have picked interest are mostly from southern and West African countries, leaving Ugandans out.
Equipped with both hard copies and electronic storage methods, the museum offers a rich history of the war and materials related to conflict resolution.

John Komakech Ogwok, the manager of the museum, attributes the lack of interest from Ugandan researchers to ignorance of its existence. He says foreign researchers get access to the museum through the website, which the locals do not visit.

Ogwok says the library is the only facility in the country that offers systematic information about the insurgency in northern Uganda. He urges Ugandans to take the advantage of the facilities and to understand the impact of the conflict on the communities in northern Uganda.
 
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Robert Kelly, a student from the University of Utrecht in Netherlands, finds the museum very useful. As a PHD student for Conflict and Peace Studies, the museum has been invaluable in his study of the northern Uganda conflict.

Denis Okema, a law student from Makerere University and one of the few Ugandan researchers to have visited the facility for his paper on Impact of War on the Orphans, confesses that he was surprised it exists and is well stocked.

Okema's only disappointment was discover that even locals are not well informed about the museum.  He hopes the management can use both radio talk-shows and newspapers to pass messages to the locals about the centre as the internet is not something everyone has access to.

Kitgum War Memorial Centre is the only documentation centre in the country that documents the northern war.  The centre is run with help of the Refugee Law Project of Makerere University.