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Survivors Hold Vigil for Lukodi MassacreVictims

On May 19, 2004, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group attacked and killed at least 60 people in Lukodi Village, Bungatira Sub County, Gulu district.
Patrick Okello Okot besides remains of his bicycle. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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Hundreds of survivors on Wednesday held a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of the 2004 Lukodi Massacre.     

          

The survivors who were joined by right activists, local leaders, and neighboring communities lit candles and laid wreaths on the monument where the names of 60 people killed during the massacre are engraved. 

Joined by the young and elderly, they marched through Lukodi Village, performed funeral dances, and recounted incidents about the day before, during, and after the massacre as well as how some of them survived death.

On May 19, 2004, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group attacked and killed at least 60 people in Lukodi Village, Bungatira Sub County, Gulu district.   

Key among the stories was of one, Patrick Okello Okot who escaped death after all bullets fired at him by the rebels hit the wheel and frame of the bicycle he was riding that fateful day.   

Okello who was from Gulu Town to do business says he fell off the bicycle, rolled in the bush through rains of bullets, and escaped through a stream until the next day.  

//Cue in: ‘’a aa ki…   

Cue out: …apoto idan gudi.’’//   

The survivors also displayed remains of the massacre which among them are the frame of Okello`s damaged bicycle, live and used bullets, voters card of some of the deceased, and splinters of the bombs, landmines, and grenades used during the attack.

//Cue in: ‘’ki kenyo dong...   

Cue out: …kwede obed enu.’’//   

Lutada Ojara, the Chairperson for Bungatira Sub County says that it is important to keep alive the memories of the lost people.  He added that such an event is a wake-up call to the government and stakeholders to address the plight of the survivors.   

David Acire, the Lukodi Village Chairperson says many survivors and victims of the massacre are struggling to survive because the area has remained economically backward following the incident.   

Annually, the survivors hold memorial prayers for the victims of the massacre and root for lasting peace.  

This is the first time the survivors held a vigil in memory of the victims eighteen years ago.