Arua Community Dialogue, 23 March 2011

In line with JRP’s recent report on memory and an upcoming memorial service for victims in West Nile (May 20), the JRP community mobilization department organized a community dialogue and radio talk show on March 23.

The dialogue aimed to spark debate about the role of memorials and memorialization in West Nile. It generated community ideas on the theme and explored different ways West Nile traditionally remembered events in the past, and how the upcoming memorial service could promote healing and positive remembrance in the region.

Over 100 participants attended this dialogue, held in the WENWA hall in Arua town, including members of the West Nile Kony Rebel War Victims Association (WNKRWVA), civil society organisations, the media, religious leaders and the public. The panellists included the L.C V Vice Chairman of Arua District Local Government (Mr. Sabo Kamilo), a representative of the Agofe of the Lugbara chiefdom (Mr. Godo Onzia John), the chairman of WNKRWVA (Eng. Buti Sam), and CSO representatives from JRP and the Uganda Human Rights Commission.

Following the community dialogue, an interactive radio talk show was hosted on Voice of Life radio to further the discussion on memory and memorialisation with specific reference to West Nile. The panel discussants were Sylvia Opinia (JRP), Eng. Buti Sam (Chairman, WNKRWVA), and Ambassador Joram Jomabuti Ajeani (Elder). The talk show also presented an opportunity for the WNKRWVA to share plans for the upcoming memorial service.