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Lukodi Massacre Monument Relocated Over Land Row :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Lukodi Massacre Monument Relocated Over Land Row

Wilfred Lalobo, the Lukodi Survivors and Victims' Association Chairperson says they had faced immense pressure from a school and landlord on which both the monument and a mini museum sit to relocate the memorial site.
The escavated Lukodi massacre monument being installed at the newly acquired memorial site in Lukodi village, Bungatira Subcounty in Gulu District. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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A monument erected to remember victims of the brutal massacre in Lukodi Village, Bungatira Sub-county in Gulu District has been relocated to a new site.

The monument bearing names of some 45 victims of the massacre was excavated and relocated on Tuesday, about 800 meters to a two-acre piece of land purchased by the Foundation for Justice and Development Initiative (FJDI). 

This comes nearly a year after the landlord on which the monument was erected issued an eviction notice demanding the structure be removed from his land.

The concrete structure was established in 2005 to remember the lives of more than 60 people who were brutally murdered when the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels raided Lukodi village on May 19, 2004.

The relocation process facilitated by FJDI started with prayers from religious leaders and a handful of the LRA war victims who gathered to witness the occasion.

Wilfred Lalobo, the Lukodi Survivors and Victims' Association Chairperson says they had faced immense pressure from a school and landlord on which both the monument and a mini museum sit to relocate the memorial site.

Lalobo says the monument is important for preserving the war history and serves as a lesson for the current generation not to indulge in rebellion owing to its negative impacts.

Luo byte

//Cue in: “Kony pa monument…

Cue out:…ki lutino wa.”//

He however says there is a need for the new site to be developed into a tourism destination where the dark history of the village can be taught and shared for revenue generation and educational purposes.

According to Lalobo, despite the undeveloped site, a number of tourists mostly students and researchers from foreign countries within East Africa, South America, and Europe have in the past been visiting the site for learning.

Santo Lakidi 67, one of the survivors of the Lukodi told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the relocation of the monument is a great relief to them since there has been a long row over the land.

He believes that they will easily attract development at the new site since it is now fully owned by the members of the Lukodi massacre Survivors’ Association.

//Cue in: “monument eni ka…

Cue out:…community me lukodi.”//

Bernard Loum, the FJDI Head of office says the monument is an important element of healing and reconciliation to the victims of the senseless war that claimed innocent lives.

//Cue in: “We relocated this…

Cue out:…past doesn’t repeat.”//

Loum notes that they have developed a master plan for the newly acquired site which will be developed into a museum and asked the local communities to collect war artifacts that can be showcased to tourists, researchers, and students.

//Cue in: “What we have…

Cue out:…particularly Northern Uganda.”//

The Lukodi massacre one of the deadliest attacks on the civilian population in the Acholi Sub-region was carried out by former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen who has since been sentenced to 25 years by The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

Victims of the war have however tasked the ICC to expedite the process of reparation which they say will facilitate their healing and reconciliation after the two-decade insurgencies in the region. 

Lakidi, like many other victims of the war who lost valuable properties and the lives of their loved ones, however, says they can’t as of now forgive Ognwen until he asks for their forgiveness and compensates them.

The LRA insurgency led by fugitive warlord Joseph Kony spanned for about two decades and saw thousands of young children forcefully abducted and turned into child soldiers.

More than 100,000 people were killed and nearly 1.5 million others were displaced from their homes during the senseless war.