Alebtong, Lira – Government will in the next financial year [2020/2021] include shillings 20b in the national budget for the compensation of war claimants in Lango, Teso and Acholi sub-regions.
And ever since the guns went silent nearly two decades now, following the over 20 years of the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency in Northern Uganda, war claimants have been pushing for their compensation from government. All their efforts have been otiose.
The war also saw several massacres in Lango which includes in Barlonyo in Ogur sub-county – Lira district, Amononeno in Abako and Abia, all in Alebtong district.
In Barlonyo alone, it is estimated that over 250 people were allegedly killed by the LRA rebels who ran down the internally displaced people’s camp.
Speaking on Tuesday during a memorial prayer to commemorate the victims of Abia massacre, the State Minister for Northern Uganda Rehabilitation, Honourable Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny announced that government will finally compensate war victims in Northern Uganda. But all these, she says can only happen in the new financial year.
The minister was flanked by, among others Moroto County MP and the convener of the memorial prayer, Samuel Okwir Odwee, Dokolo North MP, Paul Amoro Omiat, Alebtong district Woman MP, Christine Acen Ayoo and local government Minister, Raphael Magezi.
“I have been looking for the list of victims and I have never found one, but today I am happy that Hon. Okwir has given me and I will now use it to ensure they get justice,” Minister told the gathering.
Minister Kwiyucwiny was also impressed with a presentation of dramas, depicting how the massacre was executed and advised that it should be documented, pledging to show it to the outside world to expose the sufferings and pain inflicted on the people of Northern Uganda by the LRA rebels.
The Minister also did say that as the community awaits compensation, they should embrace other ongoing programs like restocking and NUSAF III.
“In Acholi validation of war claimants was done but it in Lango validation is not yet complete but once that is done, be sure of compensation,” Minister concluded.
What to know about Abia massacre?
Abia [IDP] camp was a home to over 10,000 people. It was attacked by Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in 2004 who killed 46 people, including 2 soldiers, using machetes and grenades. Eight other people later died in hospital.
The community later chose to erect a monument in the form of a statue of a helpless woman which depicts their plight in the aftermath of the massacre of 2004. They also decided to make a painting on the wall of memorial school in memory of their war experiences.