survivors on Wednesday held a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of the 2004
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
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