The cultural institution in Lango, the Lango Cultural Foundation, has started plans to take over the management of Barlonyo Memorial Site located in Agweng Sub County, Lira district. Barlonyo is a former internally displaced peoples (IDP) camp where more than 300 people were massacred on February 21, 2004 by the suspected fighters of the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army.
Barlonyo is a former internally displaced peoples (IDP) camp where more than 300 people were massacred on February 21, 2004 by the suspected fighters of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
The place has since been turned into a trading centre after the resettlement of former displaced persons, but the traditional institution is seeking to turn it into a centre for tourists. A mass grave and monument still stand where the huge camp once stood.
Yosam Odur, Lango Paramount Chief told URN on Friday that the institution in conjunction with the United Nation Education, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) will install proper artistic impressions detailing the brutality caused by the rebels. The institution also plans to build hotels in the area.
Odur says once the former IDP camp is turned into a tourist site; revenue shall be levied on everybody who goes to the area to tour, carry research or for normal visitations.
Odur says that after taking over the management of the memorial site, the institution shall now take the entire task of organizing the annual memorial prayer that is held on every 21st day of February.
The camp once housed more than 11,000 residents during the insurgency in the early 2000.
Martin Ocen Odyek, Lira district council speaker welcomes the idea saying it would stop politicians from gaining capital using Barlonyo.
Ocen claimed the place had nearly been turned into a political thing; something which he said was instead giving opportunists leeway to eat so much using the name of Barlonyo attack than the actual victims.
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Lt. Ceaser Olweny, 5th Division Army spokesman liked the idea saying it would maintain the site for future references for the growing children and keep away political leaders who had been trying to seek for cheap gain.
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Among other sites that the foundation seeks to manage include “Tyen Olum,” footprints of a child and an adult on a rock on Ibuje hill in Ibuje Sub County Apac district. They also want to manage a place in Kangai Sub County, Dokolo district, where Bunyoro and Buganda Kings were captured by the British during the colonial days. On April 9, 1899, Omukama Kabalega and Kabaka Mwanga were captured in Lango, effectively bringing the resistance to colonialism to an end.