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Suicide, Murders Top Aswa Region Death Records in 2020

The major cause of the deaths included suicide with a record 87 deaths, murders by shooting and domestic violence collectively resulting in 48 deaths and road accidents which accounted for 28 deaths.
05 Jan 2021 12:37
Aswa River Region Police Publicist ASP Patrick Jimmy Okema - Photo by Dominic Ochola

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At least 178 people were killed in the eight districts of Acholi region in 2020, the highest deaths recorded in a single year. Of those, 18 included juveniles.    

Statistics compiled by URN on the basis of data shared by Aswa Region Police for a period spanning 12-months, the major cause of the deaths included suicide with a record 87 deaths, murders by shooting and domestic violence collectively resulting in 48 deaths and road accidents which accounted for 28 deaths.      

Other causes included drowning which accounted for 7 deaths and sudden deaths where eight victims were either discovered dead in the bush or in their houses. Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson says that their findings discovered that most suicide deaths were linked to domestic violence and poverty.  

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Between January and October, 2020, Gulu Sheffield Mental Health project in collaboration with Gulu Regional Referral Hospital had documented up to 80 suicide deaths. Freddy Odong, the Project Manager told URN that the cases could be higher.      

Acholi sub region is also witnessing increased cases of murder because of the desire to take laws into own hands instead of exploring established legal mechanisms like police and the courts of law to resolve grievances.     

Area leaders have attributed the increasing road fatalities to careless driving and riding along highways without regard to traffic and road safety rules.

The Police annual crime report of 2019 ranked Aswa, the region with the highest cases of Domestic violence with 1,131 cases. The region is also 4th in homicide rates at 287 cases in the country.