Local leaders in Northern Uganda want massacre sites where the
Lord’s Resistance Army - LRA rebels killed civilians turned into tourist
During the two-decade-long armed conflict in the region spanning from
1986-2006, the LRA and some Government forces killed civilians whom they
accused of being collaborators and buried them in mass graves.
Some of the documented massacre sites include Lukodi village in Gulu
District where the LRA 60 people on May 19, 2004; Barlonyo in Lira District,
Abiya in Alebtong District Abok in Oyam District.
Other massacres happened in Pajule Pader District, Omot in Agago
District, Odek in Omoro District and Amuru District.
Robert Larubi, a rights activist notes that the monuments can help generations
learn about peace and reconciliation processes but currently the sites are
poorly maintained and are exposed to harsh weather which erodes them.
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Victor Ocen, a United Nations – UN Ambassador of Peace and Justice who doubles
as founder of the African Youth Initiative Network - AYNET in Lira District
says that his brother disappeared during the LRA conflict but the family is not
sure if he is alive or dead.
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Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South MP says that documenting the history of both
LRA and Government atrocities that happened in Northern Uganda is a good
initiative that all leaders in the region must push for to help families heal
from the trauma experience.
In his recent visit to Lira District during memorial prayers at
Barlonyo in Lira District where over 300 civilians were killed by LRA on 21
February 2004, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the former Minister for Minister of
Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities called for the development of the massacre
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But Samuel Odung, the Gulu City Council Elders’ Representative, a
former teacher and historian disagrees citing that it will haunt families that
lost their loved ones.
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Presently, the National Memory and Peace Documentation Centre - NMPDC in
Kitgum District is the only centre being managed by the Refugee Law Project
(RLP) that documents, archives and communicates memories of conflict-related
events as well as experiences of past human rights violations and legacies of
Also known as Uganda’s History Clinic, the centre is a living
memorial to the victims and survivors of war, armed conflicts and gross human
rights violations, a space to promote and celebrate Uganda’s heritage.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.