Survivors of Lord’s Resistance Army Rebel Massacres in Uganda Appeal for Assistance

A survivor of the massacre holding a copy of a 2004 newspaper bearing a front page article on the massacre by LRA rebels

A survivor of the massacre holding a copy of a 2004 newspaper bearing a front page article on the massacre by LRA rebels

The survivors of the massacres committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA in northern Uganda have come up with fresh demands that they want government to fulfill.

The survivors who have formed committees are pushing new demands which include government addressing the plight of the survivors and starting a special bursary scheme for the children orphaned by the massacres.

The agitators are survivors from Bungatira in Gulu, Omot and Barlonyo in Lira.

In Bungatira Sub-county which is located 12 kilometers from Gulu town in northern Uganda, the LRA rebels raided the place on 19th May 2004 and massacred 50 people and abducted several others.

Close to nine years, the massacre is still as fresh in the minds of the survivors like it happened yesterday.

Vincent Oyet, a survivor who is currently the Chairperson of a committee managing Bungatira massacre site vividly recounts the events leading to the massacre.

Oyet says on the fateful day the residents had moved to take shelter at Lokhodi Primary School, where there was an army detach.

He says the LRA rebels struck in the evening and killed fifty people and abducted several others after overpowering the government soldiers.

Oyet who broke down several times during the interview remembers a particular incident when a baby crawled out of a burning hut and was instead hauled back into the fire by the rebels.

To Oyet the government should come up with programs that can enable the survivors to overcome trauma. He also says the locals are also concerned about the fate of the people who were abducted on that fateful day of 2004.

In Lira the In charge of Barlonyo massacre site, Moses Okello says the most pressing need now for the survivors is the education for the 170 children who lost their parents during the massacre. He explains that several children are willing to go back to school but have failed due to lack of school fees.

In Barlonyo the rebels had struck the area in 2004 and massacred 580 people and injured seventy two others in the attack that began from 5: 30pm and ended at 2am the next day.

John Okidi another survivor from Omoot Sub-county in Gulu district says the residents there are living a traumatized life having watched as the LRA rebels killed and boiled dead bodies. He says the residents desperately need a psycho-social program to come out of the trauma and to lead normal lives.

In the meantime the survivors who are leaving a hopeless life have setup committees to manage the sites and holding annual prayers in memories of their dear ones they lost and the missing persons.

The survivors plight comes at a time when billions of shillings meant for reconstructing the lives of people affected by war in northern Uganda got stolen by officials from the Prime Minister’s office.

They have in the past made similar demands which government never responded to.

An effort to get a comment from State Minister for Northern Uganda Reconstruction Rebecca Otenngo was fruitless as she did not answer repeated calls made to her cell-phone.

He Uganda Amnesty Commission in a report released early this year blamed the rising cases of suicide in northern Uganda on social trauma which resulted from two decades of war.

 

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