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Teso War Compensation Offices Closed

The Teso Animal and Property Compensation, an organization established to conduct the mobilization says it has been forced to close down eight of its offices due to lack of funding to keep the offices operational.

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The process to claim compensation for property lost during the wars in Teso sub region has been hit by inadequate funding to mobilize the claimants. 

The Teso Animal and Property Compensation, an organization established to conduct the mobilization says it has been forced to close down eight of its offices due to lack of funding to keep the offices operational.

 

Osborn Omoding, the organization’s coordinator told Uganda Radio Network that the offices located in each of the districts in Teso have been closed leaving only one in Soroti town. He said up to 90,000 people have so far registered with details of the property they lost during the various insurgencies since 1984.

 

Omoding said they require government to pay for at least 1.4 million heads of cattle, 1.8 million goats, about a million sheep and a host of houses, vehicles and motorcycles that were either looted or destroyed during the wars.

 

He said they were waiting for a government verification team to provide them with a standard price quotation for the various items to enable them compute a monetary value to the claims.

 

Francis Ecodu, a resident of Soroti Sub County is among the claimants. He says that he lost 3,000 heads of cattle and other property during the war in 1986 and recently during the LRA rebel insurgency, a claim URN could not easily verify.

 

Christine Amongin Aporu, the Teso Affairs minister said the exercise is only awaiting verification by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs before compensation could be effected.

 

Amongin told URN that she is currently reconciling the claims submitted to her through the Teso Animal and Property Compensation organization.

In 2009, a group of people from Teso dragged government to court seeking to be compensated for the property they lost during the past wars. However, government requested that the matter be settled out of court. Teso joins other regions of Acholi and Lango in the demand for comprehensive compensation for property lost during the previous wars, an exercise that has generated equal demands for a law regulating the compensations.

 

Besides the 1981-1986 civil war in Uganda, Teso sub region also suffered from a brutal rebellion launched in 1987 by the Uganda People’s Army (UPA) rebels. The rebellion ended in 1994 after government struck a deal with the rebels which saw some of the rebel leaders join government. Some of the prominent rebel leaders who joined government include the current Disaster Preparedness minister, Musa Ecweru and Amuria RDC Max Omeda among others.

 

Frequent attacks and cattle raids by the Karimojong warriors and the June 2003 Lord’s Resistance Army rebel incursion into Teso also led to loss of lives and property.

 

Lino Owor, a transitional justice expert argues that the current attempt by government to compensate war victims is not coordinated and comprehensive. He demands that the exercise should be supported by a legal provision.

 

Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party president is also among the people demanding for the compensation law. Mao says that Uganda could borrow experiences from countries like Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Liberia, which have undergone conflict but emerged to enact appropriate laws to address the concerns of victims of the war.

//Cue in: “There should be…’

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