Barlonyo war victims want Museveni to honour unfulfilled pledge

President Museveni’s pledge to the families and victims of the Barlonyo LRA war massacre has not been fulfilled, survivors say.

Over 973 survivors have long been demanding compensation from the government for the blood of their loved ones and what they went through.

On February 21, 2004, the LRA rebels attacked Barlonyo IDP camp in Lira district and massacred dozens who were taking shelter.

Under the command of Okot Odhiambo, he led a lethal operation dubbed “kill every living thing” and over 302 internally displaced persons were killed.

In a statement on the commemoration of the Barlonyo Massacre Day held on February 21, 2024, in Erute North, Lira district, the chairperson of Barlonyo site, Moses Ogwang said since President Museveni pledged to offer some support to the victims’ families, nothing has been fulfilled.

Ogwang added that since that incident happened in 2004, they have only been supported by the Non-Governmental Organisations.

They are still waiting for the government, he told the gathering.

Some of the family members, for example, he revealed are not sending their children to school due to many challenges they have.

The ex-Otuke MP, Daniel Omara Atubu, proposed that the Barlonyo massacre [commemoration] prayer day should be combined with Abia, Abako and Abok where similar massacres happened.

Erute North MP, Christian Akello aka Gwokadako thanked the LRA war victims for being loyal. Gwokadako said their request had already been forwarded to the President and the Prime Minister.

According to the area MP, over 973 war victims are going to be compensated.

“This kind of prayer must unite all the people of Lango, religious leaders, cultural leaders and politicians.

“As we commemorate the Barlonyo Massacre, I also appeal to the government to gazette February 21 and officially should be a public holiday for every Ugandan to come for the memorial anniversary prayer,” she said.

According to the State Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Martin Bahinduka Mugarra, under his Ministry they have already gazetted the Barlonyo Massacre site.

Minister Bahinduka also said they already documented over 650 sites across the country. From 2010-2016, the Ministry elevated Abia site in Alebtong district, Aboke site in Kole district and Barlonyo site in Lira district where the massacres took place.

While addressing the public as chief guest, State Minister for Northern Uganda, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny said she documented all the issues raised by different leaders and promised to deliver it to the Prime Minister for further assistance.

Kwiyucwiny called upon the leaders from Lango not to take the commemoration day for granted, telling them to use the day to remember our loved ones who were killed.

“Because the Bible tells us we must pray for those who have died, although in spirit people don’t die, they only leave the earth.”

She gave Barlonyo group with shs2m and promised to deliver 160 iron sheets for Orit Primary School to boost the education of our learners.

The Commemoration Day was Celebrated under the Theme:,"Improve Household income and preserve lasting Memory".
By Arao Denis

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