As Long as You Live, You Will Survive: The Omot Massacre, FN XI

A child’s drawing of an LRA attack on a village

A child’s drawing of an LRA attack on a village

On October 23rd 2002, an estimated forty-four fighters of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) entered Omot sub-county from Par Samuelo Acak, near the river Agogo. They were given instruction by their LRA Commander, “as soon as we cross the river, abduct whoever you come across until we reach Corner Gang pa Aculu in Opota Trading Centre.”3 The team, consisting mostly of young soldiers, first moved North East, abducting twelve people in Lawal Ode, an additional eight people in Lalur Onyol and finally another twelve people were abducted from Latin Ling before they reached the point of slaughter.

The Opota Trading Centre at Corner Gang Pa Aculu was the site where twenty-eight people lost their lives in the brutal and dehumanizing Omot massacre. People were murdered, cut into pieces and then placed in cooking pots in front of dozens of witnesses.

This report is the first systematic documentation of the massacre that took place in Omot. Eight years later, the community has far from achieved reconciliation and restitution. The people of Omot have been stripped of their right to justice; the wrongs committed against them unacknowledged by Government or LRA, no system of redress has been explored. What is more, the community is divided. Victims of the massacre continue to resent the clan of ‘Samuel’, a young resident who was recruited by the LRA and then later ran away with a gun, leading ultimately to the Omot massacre as retaliation. The community does not feel they have been compensated by Samuel’s family for the deaths that occurred as a result of his desertion. In Omot, it is important for support to be provided for community reconciliation.

As Long as You Live, You Will Survive recommends that the Government of Uganda:

  • Formally acknowledge the Omot massacre of 2002 as well as all other massacres that have occurred in communities in Northern Uganda;
  •  Recognize and redress their failure to protect Ugandan citizens from the LRA attack;
  • Hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes;
  • Support local approaches to justice and reconciliation that will address tensions within;
  • Provision of reparations;
  • Provision of a memorial designed and constructed with victims.

To access the report, click here.