Give LRA victims justice, says ex-bishop,” Daily Monitor, 20 July 2011
By Sam Lawino
The government and Judiciary should deliver true justice to survivors of war in northern Uganda, civic and religious leaders have said. Addressing a rally during the International Day of Justice celebration in Gulu Town on Sunday, the retired Bishop of Kitgum Anglican Diocese, Macleod Baker Ochola, said the day should remind the government and its partners that they have failed to dispense justice to the victims of the 23-year-old Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebellion.
He said: “Uganda has failed to support victims and survivors of the LRA and government mayhems in Acholi yet it also deliberately refused to accept responsibilities for the crimes they may have committed.”
Bishop Ochola said: “Everyone in Uganda and the rebels must be brought to book for atrocities they may have committed against unarmed civilians during the war. It is one way through which we can attain peace and justice,” Bishop Ochola said. He criticised the government for not coming up with a clear policy on compensation of the families of those killed, and the survivors.
A programme officer with Justice and Reconciliation Project in Northern Uganda, Mr Lino Owor Ogora, said: “Justice and accountability or the quest to end impunity should not be limited to criminal prosecution.” He said there should be other solutions like reconciliation.
A programme officer for Advocate Sans Frontiere, an association of lawyers supporting the fight against impunity, Mr Vincent Babaranda, said victims of the LRA atrocities should be granted access to the ongoing trial of former rebel commander Thomas Kwoyelo in the International Crime Division of the High Court to enable them know what is being done to address injustices perpetrated against them. Kwoyelo is facing 53 counts of murder, destruction of properties and abductions, accusations he denied.