Kony war victims in West Nile demonstrate over government delays for compensation

todayJune 21, 2022

By: Abedican Godwin


The Kony war victims in their association Kony War Victims Association from West Nile on Monday June 20th 2022, held a demonstration declaring a hunger strike until they are compensated for the losses they incurred during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency which took place in the Northern parts of the country in the 1990s and early 2000s. The rebel movement that used to among some of their activities waylay passengers traveling from other districts from the Northern part of the country including West Nile region to the capital city Kampala, saw a number of business men and women lose their monies and goods let alone those who were killed. As a result the victims formed an association and started following up with the government since 2009 for the government to compensate them for the losses. Since the government delayed to meet their demands and after waiting for years through a lot of efforts and struggles to have their voice heard which according to the members all fell on deaf ears, the members resorted to taking to the street to deliver a petition to the office of the Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Alice Akello, over government failure to compensate them.

The demonstration which started from around the office of the prime minister in Arua city was blocked by the police as the members were not allowed to proceed to the office of the RCC but were later diverted to the mayor’s garden. This called for the intervention of the Deputy Director General for special operations in the Internal Security Organization (ISO) Gen. Taban Amin who promised to help the war victims. “I have always heard of this group without seeing the members physically but having met and seen you today, I notice how much you are suffering, it is very painful especially to me who has also been fighting in wars. I have seen your documents and we are hearing that some people in other parts of the country are being paid. I will not keep quiet over this, as West Nilers, I know we are annoyed but I request you to b calm as we follow up the issue.” Gen. Amin said.

Following his intervention, Gen Amin had to make a direct phone call to the president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, to speak to the leader of the Association, Matua Alex on behalf of the aggrieved members in which communication the president noted that he does not have any knowledge of such a group existing since no documents have ever reached him indicating their demands. “I spoke directly to the president and he assured me that since we started this struggle, he has never seen any document from us concerning our claims. He requested me to submit all the documents through the director ISO today and we wait for the outcome.

We are giving only 2 weeks up to June 30th and if nothing comes out we shall have our next demonstration to the parliament.” Matua said. He added that, “Since the president denied having received any letter about their demands, then it’s clear that the leaders in the region are not working. “They are doing nothing, they do not submit these documents and we waste a lot of money doing documentations. So what shows that they are working? We have wasted monies since 2009.”
Responding to the claim of the members of the war victims that the leaders are not helping them the Hon. Member of Parliament for Ayivu East in Arua city, Feta Geoffrey says, personally he has tried to follow this issue.

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