Rwot Acana told URN during an interview at his palace in Gulu City that the current level of sexual abuse meted out at young girls and violence against children in the Acholi Sub Region and other parts of the country call for collective responsibility.
Acholi Paramount Chief David Onen Acana II speaking at the launch of the third edition of Acholi Cultural Festival in Kitgum Municipality on Friday evening. Photo By Julius Ocungi.
Rwot David Onen Acana
II, the Paramount Chief of Acholi Cultural Institution has called for
collective responsibility to protect young girls from sexual abuse as the
country battles the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rwot Acana told URN during an interview at his palace in Gulu City that the
current level of sexual abuse meted out at young girls and violence against
children in the Acholi Sub Region and other parts of the country call for
He explained that it is unfortunate that very many young girls suffered
defilement, got pregnant while others ended up in early marriages in the first
//Cue in: ‘’jo mukene gi…
Cue out: kare ni eni,’’//
people take this period to do atrocities on other people, among their targets
are even young children because we now know that school children are home, we
men who are not respectful, who are mindless we are going to destroy young
children. You find teen marriages within the community, teen pregnancies are
too many. By this, we are destroying our future. These children if they grow
they will have brighter futures and help us but not by shattering their dreams
like these days.’’
He says that parents
and guardians also abandoned their children or subjected them to hardship
because of the need for survival. Acana’s statement comes at a time when cases of
child desertion, defilement, rape, and gender-based violence and child neglect
have escalated in the Acholi Sub Region.
For instance, Geoffrey
Lakwonyero, the Gulu City Gender and Labor Officer, says that in June alone
they registered 28 cases of gender-based violence, one case of rape, eleven
cases of defilement, one for rape, eleven for defilements, eight for desertion
and thirteen for child neglect.
During the first lockdown last year, Acholi sub-region registered more than
17,652 teen pregnancies and child marriages. Rwot Acana II explained that the
culprits take advantage of the closure of schools and economic hardships
arising from the lockdown to sexually exploit and abuse young girls.
on the different cultural institutions to use their structures to rally the
masses against child abuse and violence against children in their respective
jurisdictions. Brenda Aromorach, the Field Officer for Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE)
also tasked all leaders and stakeholders to jointly condemn all forms of abuse and
violence against children.
She highlighted the need for child protection
and creating safe avenues for children especially at this time when the world
is battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The Paramount Chief also called on the people to embrace the Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19, get vaccinated
and avoid alcohol and substance abuse.
//Cue in: ‘’dano me I …
Cue out: …kun ilubu cik.’’//
On June 6, President Yoweri Museveni announced a lockdown, which includes the
suspension of both private and public transport, places of worship and
education institutions for 42 days to contain the second wave of COVID-19. Uganda
has cumulatively registered 86,755 COVID-19 cases and 2,090 deaths.
Journalism, Resilience: ''With Love For Humanity''.