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Kony War Victims Demonstrate Over Delayed Compensation

Alex Matua, the chairperson of West Nile LRA war victims, says that the peaceful demonstration is a result of the government’s failure to respond to their demands despite making numerous promises to pay them.
Members of Konyi war victims in West Nile blocked by police near Arua city Officies Today.

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The victims of the Joseph Kony war victims in the West Nile region have staged a peaceful demonstration over delayed compensation by the government for the losses incurred during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency.

The war victims converged near the office of the Prime Minister-Arua and attempted to march in a procession to the Resident City Commissioner's office but police intercepted them near Arua city headquarters along Avenue road.

The demonstration comes more than a month after the war victims gave the government a 15-day ultimatum to compensate them or they return to court. 

Alex Matua, the chairperson of West Nile LRA war victims, says that the peaceful demonstration is a result of the government’s failure to respond to their demands despite making numerous promises to pay them. 

He says at least 90 of their members have since died without receiving their compensation.

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Molly Driciru, another war victim, says that she lost ten power saws during the March 08, 1996, attack on her way from Kampala to Arua. Driciru says wants the government to pay over Shillings 300million as compensation.

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Rashid Ciriga, a businessman, who escaped from the rebel attack, said he can hardly work for his family since he still carries a bullet in his arm that has not been removed due to the lack of money for an operation.

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It took the intervention of Lt. Gen. Taban Amin, the deputy director-general of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) in charge of West Nile and Congo to calm down the demonstrators after pledging to follow up their compensation with the government.

“To see your brothers and sisters suffering like this, does not make one happy. Right now I am going to send their grievances for action since I have seen their documents," he said. The victims are seeking compensation of Shillings 99 billion from the government for the losses they incurred during the LRA insurgency in Northern Uganda.

In November, a team of officials from State House and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence led by Maj. Aggrey Mworozi visited the sub-region to verify the documents of the victims in preparation for possible compensation. 

However, the victims say up to now they haven’t received any information from the government. Between 1993 to the early 2000s, LRA rebels killed hundreds of businessmen and women from Arua and other districts in West Nile and injured several others. The rebels also destroyed properties along the Pakwach-Karuma road during the LRA insurgency.