LRA victims across the country need support to start a new life.
Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Over 1,200 victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA insurgency in West Nile have given the government an ultimatum of 15 days to compensate them or they return to court. They argue that the government has continued to turn a deaf ear to their demands after persuading them to withdraw a case that they had filled last year.
During their meeting at PTC Club Nyondo Onduparaka in Arua city mid this week, the war claimants resolved to give the government until mid next month to come up with a clear position about their compensation, which they say is long overdue.
The fresh demands came just days after President Yoweri Museveni launched compensation payments for people who lost livestock and property in Acholi, Lango, and Teso sub-regions in the 1980s.
Alex Matua, the chairperson of West Nile LRA war victims says, the failure of the government to respond to their demand will force them to reinstate the court case that they withdrew when the government promised to pay them.
He further noted that the victims also intend to hold peaceful protests to express their grievances over their compensation demands. According to Matua, since the start of this year, at least 11 members of his association have passed away before receiving their compensation.
In November, a team of officials from State House and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence led by Maj. Aggrey Mworozi visited the sub-region to verify the documents of the victims in preparation for possible compensation. However, the victims say up to now they haven’t received any information from the government.
Rashid Ciriga, a businessman, who survived the rebel attack, says that he can hardly work for his family since he still carries a bullet in his arm that has not been removed because he lacks money for the operation.
Beatrice Avutiru, who met the rebels on March 08, 1996, on her way from Kampala to Arua, said she lost her baby and money during the attack on the bus. She wants over Shillings 50million as compensation from the Government so that she can start rebuilding her life.
Ayivu East MP, Geoffrey Feta, the government urgently needs to respond to the demands of the victims who have waited patiently for more than 20 years.
Arua Resident City Commissioner, Alice Akello has appealed to the war victims to remain calm, saying that the government is committed to fulfilling its pledge to compensate them. The victims are seeking compensation of Shillings 99 billion for the losses they incurred during the LRA insurgency in Northern Uganda.