By James Owich
Posted Monday, October 6 2014 at 01:00
Government will document all missing persons killed during the northern Uganda war and those presumed to be still in captivity of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, the minister Without Portfolio in charge of Political Mobilisation has said.
Addressing journalists in Gulu Town at the weekend, Mr Richard Todwong said the documentation had been planned to take place in 2010 but was delayed “since most of the people were still in Internally Displaced People’s camps.”
LRA rebels waged a two-decade war during which they massacred a people and abducted hundreds.
“Government is now ready to conduct the documentation, which will tell the figure of missing persons,” Mr Todwong said.
He said resident district commissioners in the region had been instructed to document, not only missing persons, but even those who were killed.
This, according to Mr Todwong, is part of the stock-taking of what transpired during the war.
Ms Kerobina Kalokwera, 62, a mother of six whose son Faustino Okello, 11, was abducted in 1996, applauded the initiative, saying she still hopes her son is still alive.
Ms Lilly Odong, the chairperson Pece Missing Person’s Group, an association of parents whose children are still missing, said many members had lost hope on finding their children alive.
However, she urged civil society organisations and other stakeholders to support the initiative.
Mr Oryem Nyeko, Communications Officer Justice & Reconciliation Project (JRP), a local NGO that promotes sustainable peace says the affected families has over the past years been having questions of where their loved ones are years after they were abducted.
“This initiative will give the families the opportunity to mourn for their relatives in case they died or build on hope that they will safely return,” Mr Nyeko commented.
In October of 2008, Dr. Stephen Kagoda, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported to Parliament that some of the missing children might have been sold in the Darfur area of Sudan, as soldiers, sex slaves and cheap labourers by LRA leader, Mr Joseph Kony.
The two decade war, left over a million people displaced, and over 30,000 children forcefully abducted as child soldiers while women were sexually abused. Statistics from by Amnesty Commission indicate that so far only, 8, 000 children majority now adults have safely returned and reintegrated into their respective communities.
A 2012 report by CAP Uganda indicates a total of 1,000 people abducted by the LRA are still missing and their where about are unknown.
The where abouts. According to a 2012 report by CAP Uganda, more than 1,000 people, who were abducted by the LRA, are still missing and their where about are unknown.
Reports. In October 2008, Dr Stephen Kagoda, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Internal Affairs, said some of the missing children might have been sold in the Darfur, Sudan, as soldiers, sex slaves and cheap labourers.