“Acholi urged to shun rebellion,” New Vision, 24 April 2011
By C. Lubangakene and Justin Moro
THE 1995 massacre by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Atiak and others in Acholi sub-region should be an eye opener to the Acholi not to rebel against government.
The remarks were made on Wednesday by the Rwot of Atiak, Santo Apire, during the 16th annual memorial prayer for over 250 people killed by the LRA in Atiak.
Apire advised the Acholi to shun any rebellion against the Government.
“ What the LRA did should teach us that rebellion is bad,” Apire said.
He urged the Amuru district authorities to solve the boundary dispute between the district and Adjumani.
Apire said such disputes breed fertile grounds for insecurity in the region.
The Bishop of northern Uganda diocese, Rt. Rev. Johnson Gakumba, who led the mass, said it was unfortunate that Kony was still committing atrocities in Congo and the Central African Republic.
Gakumba, who is also the chairman of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative called upon the Government to renew peace talks in order to end suffering in the Great Lakes region.
He said military options rarely end guerilla wars.
Gakumba urged the Government to compensate those affected by the war in order to improve their lives.
He said the time for war was over and urged people to embark on reconstruction.
Mathew Akiya, the Lamwo district LC5 chairman, said the district was planning to construct a memorial site at Corner Ogwec in Lokung sub-county, in remembrance of the over 450 people killed by the LRA in 1997 and over 400 others killed and buried in mass graves during the Idi Amin regime.
He castigated the elders for fuelling land disputes, saying they were being bought to do wrong things.
Betty Bigombe, the woman MP-elect for Amuru district, urged residents to forgive the LRA for what happened in Atiak and Acholi.
The 1995 Atiak massacre survivors want the Government to compensate them like it has done in other parts of the country.
“We know that the budget reading of the 2010/2011 financial year put aside sh200m for families of victims of the 1989 mukura massacre in Teso.
While we applaud your efforts to compensate victims from this incident, we also want to be compensated,” the memorandum to President Yoweri Museveni, signed by the Atiak survivors committee chairman, George William Odong, read in part.