West Nile Documentation, October 2010

From October 18-21, JRP’s Research, Documentation and Advocacy Team paid another visit to the West Nile sub-region, visiting Arua town. There, JRP met with representatives of the West Nile Kony Rebel War Victims Association and various other victims from the region to learn about their experiences during the conflict and post-conflict struggles.

Though largely overlooked by most NGOs and the Government, the suffering of West Nile over the last two decades has proved to be serious. While Acholi sub-region formed the epicenter of the war, West Nile suffered its own share of violence over the last thirty years, as various rebel groups have operated in the region.

Many of the survivors we interviewed lost virtually all their means of sustenance in ambushes on the Kampala-Arua Road, and still nourish the trauma of the abductions that oftentimes followed. The West Nile Kony Rebel War Victims Association has made a series of attempts to draw attention to their case, but this has not yet materialized in substantial governmental support. Occasionally government representatives have paid compensation to individual victims, but a transparent and inclusive policy is still lacking.

Though this naturally frustrates the members of the association, the participants expressed a strong desire not to give up their fight for accountability and reparations. They took a very positive stance towards working together with JRP. JRP will therefore continue documenting their experiences and assist in their future advocacy and mobilization efforts.