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Ministers Irked by Mismanagement of Barlonyo Massacre Site :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Ministers Irked by Mismanagement of Barlonyo Massacre Site

In 2019, the Ministry of Tourism committed to upgrading the site into a tourism destination. However, the site has been turned into a market by vendors displaying their merchandise on the monument. The site ground also has turned into a grazing area for domestic animals.
Minister Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny accompanied by other leaders laying wreath on the monument at Barlonyo Massacre site (Photo by Immaculate Amony)

Audio 6

The State Minister of Tourism is disturbed by the level at which Barlonyo Massacre site in Lira District is being mismanaged.

On February 21, 2004, LRA rebels killed more than 300 people in an Internally Displaced People’s Camp (IDPC) in Barlonyo village, Ogur Sub County in Lira District. The dead were later buried in a mass grave.

In 2019, the Ministry of Tourism committed to upgrading the site into a tourism destination. However, the site has been turned into a market by vendors displaying their merchandise on the monument.  The site ground also has turned into a grazing area for domestic animals.

Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the Minister of State for Northern Uganda, expressed disappointment in how the residents seem not to value the significance of the grave and its importance in their lives. She was on Tuesday speaking during the 20th memorial ceremony held at the site.

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She tasked the local leaders to protect the site as they wait for permanent interventions from the Tourism Ministry. She also said that the government is planning to compensate the survivors.

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Similarly, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, the Minister of State for Tourism said that protecting the site would promote posterity for not only the survivors but also the community.

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Local leaders asked the tourism ministry to consider fencing off the area to control not only stray animals but also people who are currently misusing the place.

Patrick Abal, the Minister of Tourism at Lango Cultural Foundation asked the Ministry to facelift the Barlonyo Memorial site to act as a central place for commemoration of all massacre sites in Lango.

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But Mugarra tasked the cultural leaders to spearhead the motion.

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Earlier Bishop Emeritus Alfred Acur Okodi, the main celebrant of the ceremony wondered why the people of Barlonyo are not to be bothered by the event. He called for psychosocial support for the locals.

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Between 2010 and 2013, the Ministry of Tourism with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs renovated the mass grave and constructed a documentary resource center at Barlonyo where women can sell their crafts to tourists.