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Peace Centre in Kitgum Documents Dark Memories Of LRA Atrocities

Nono says over the years the center has been able to document oral testimonies from conflict victims, used films and documentaries to inspire disclosure on atrocities that happened including male rape and massacres that have all been archived.
painting on the National Memory and Peace Documentation Center office Block in Kitgum District. photo by julius ocungi

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The National Memory and Peace Documentation Center [NMPDC], in Kitgum District, is shining light on the Lord Resistance Army-LRA atrocities through documentation and keeping the memory of the conflict alive.    

NMPDC, an initiative of the Refugee Law Project [RLP] in collaboration with Kitgum District Local Government opened up its doors in 2012 as a historical reference for conflict-related events in the country.

In an interview, Francis Nono, the Center Manager NMPDC says the initiative arose as a result of the 2006-2008 Juba Peace talks which highlighted needs for accountability and reconciliation on how the past can repair after conflicts in Northern Uganda.
Nono says there was need to document the past conflict to help the conflict-affected people move forward.

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Initially according to Nono, the centre was named Kitgum Peace Documentation Center but it was later renamed National Memory and Peace Documentation Center to document all atrocities that happened in the country.    

Nono says over the years the centre has been able to document oral testimonies from conflict victims, used films and documentaries to inspire disclosure on atrocities that happened including male rape and massacres that have all been archived. 

He says that the centre now acts as a platform were most victims and survivors of conflicts come and share their stories on what they remember adding that it has helped them not only to heal but also amplify their voices to government on unknown atrocities.   

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The memory centre also continues to help a number of people within and outside Kitgum District to conduct research on the past conflict through documented articles published on their website.

It also has a well-stocked Library and exhibitions that features artefacts like bomb shells, letters and photographs from LRA rebels used during the war that has over the years been used to further researches by Students and working classes.  

Jimmy Oboi, a freelance journalist who frequently visits NMPDC library says on a number of occasions, he has been relying on publication from the centre especially on Transitional justice and legal frame work on land matters to enrich his reporting. 

He however says despite the rich contents archived at the centre, many locals tend not to pay attention in utilizing the materials leaving people from outside the country who visit the district. 

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The centre is currently gearing towards the Launch of its first ever conflict and peace Museum Exhibition on September 20th on the themes of the past of Uganda, injustices of war, Transitional Justice Initiative and emerging issues in post conflict era.

Uganda has experienced series of conflicts since the early independence inform of coup, armed struggles orchestrated by government forces and armed rebel outfits.

The LRA war in particular left tens of thousands of people dead, over 20,000 children abducted and more than 1.5 million were estimated to have been sent into internally displaced People’s Camps [IDP’s].