Northern Uganda Reflects On Past War

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In short
Hundreds of people from the northern Uganda districts have converged at Kaunda grounds in Gulu town to celebrate the International Peace Day, a gathering they say is reflect on their past, ravaged by a war that lasted twenty one years.

Hundreds of people from the northern Uganda districts have converged at Kaunda grounds in Gulu town to celebrate the International Peace Day, a gathering they say is reflect on their past, ravaged by a war that lasted twenty one years.
 
Thousands of people were believed to have died during the war and at least a million more got displaced from their homes into displaced people’s camps where they lived in inhuman conditions.
 
While others are reminiscing on the decades of war that caused massive loss of life and destruction, many are debating on whether the region has gained peace at all.
 
Rosalba Oywa, a peace activist maintains that northern Uganda is still far from gaining peace. She explains that she gets baffled by claims that the region is now peaceful.
 
According to Oywa, peace will continue to elude the region for as long as the population still lives in abject poverty amidst social conditions like domestic violence and rampant rape and defilement reigning high in the community.
 
She has asked government and development partners to strengthen state presence, stamp out crime and provide affordable opportunities that can improve the livelihood of the population that is now seeking to regain normal life in their homes.
 
/Cue in: “I always hear people say…”
Cue out: “…not indicating true peace.”//
 
Mark Onono, a student at Gulu Trinity College says the celebration is significant because it helps to reflect on the progress from the past years when they lived in IDP camps, where food was rationed.
 
Onono explains that although other hardships still exist in the community, the end of war is a major milestone for him and the people in the region. He wants government to consolidate on the prevailing peace and improve on the living conditions.
 
//Cue in: “When I was in the camp…”
Cue out: “…feed a family in one month.”//
 
Martine Rwot-omra, a resident of For God village, Bardege division says that it is important that the national celebration of the International Peace Day has been held in Gulu. He says it portrays the significance people attach to the recovery of the region destroyed by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebellion.
 
Monsignor Mathew Odong, the Vicar general of Gulu catholic diocese admitted that while the war has ceased, the environment is still hostile especially to the youth. He said conditions like pornography, drug abuse, and practices like homosexuality pose challenges to a peaceful society.
 
Northern Uganda was home to a long insurgency but the situation has gradually improved since 2006, when the government and the LRA rebels agreed to ceasefire to pave way for the Juba peace talks. Although not conclusive, the talks provided a framework to move forward even as the rebels have remained in the jungles.

 

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