Over 4200 victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict have today petitioned the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to permanently end the war.
28 year old Florence Adokorach is a mother of two children both belonging to LRA warlord Joseph Kony.
She was abducted in the 1990’s in Akonybedo village Gulu district and taken to South Sudan only to return in 2004 with a 13 year old girl and 12 year old boy.
Adokorach recalls that while in South Sudan she was forced to fight and cultivate and later made pregnant by Kony. However, she managed to escape during the iron fist operation led by the UPDF in 2004 and is currently being supported by the Invisible Children Organisation.
The formerly abducted children and persons affected by the conflict note that even though the war may have ended within the Ugandan territory it continues in the DRC, Central African Republic and South Sudan.
They are thus asking Parliament to address itself to the immense recovery; rehabilitation and reintegration challenges in LRA affected communities in order to change the lives of the LRA victims and communities for better.
Adopt practical measures in collaboration with regional Parliaments, local civil society in the affected region and international community. This they believe will promote the safe defection and repatriation of children and adults still in LRA captivity.
These efforts must also properly address the issue of children born into LRA captivity with unclear citizenry and the protection of communities that remain vulnerable to LRA killings, attacks, abductions, displacement and lootings.
Florence Adokorach, presenting the petition, appealed to Parliament through the government to lobby United Nations Agencies and other humanitarian agencies for a humanitarian emergency response and infrastructure development for LRA affected communities in the region. This will help counter the development deficit and deplorable humanitarian crisis created by the conflict.
The LRA victims from the four affected countries also want Uganda to use its membership and present chairmanship of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region to engage other member countries to recognize the LRA as a continued threat to regional stability.
They also want government to lobby the international community including the UN to own up and include the LRA problem as part of the broader UN mandate in the region. They urge all regional governments of LRA affected communities to demonstrate their increased commitment and the international community its support to the African Union counter LRA effort.