In part one of this article, I outlined how power wrangles wrecked the movement of Alice Lakwena before Joseph Kony rebelled against his own people years later after the failure to appoint him the successor to the throne of the fallen heroine. Part two of this article shades more light on the miseries the people of Northern Uganda and the Acholi in particular, have gone through since the succession blunder made after the death of Alice Lakwena.
Growing up as a teenager, I have witnessed what a growing child at this age would never want to relate to. It happened in 1999, when my little sister and so many others were admitted at Arum Public Hospital and there my mum was. Just a day after, no insecurity alert circulated and scepticism still hangs on what led to the surprise attack by the LRA on defenceless and innocent civilians.
Imagine living with a guardian whose totem is drinking. On Tuesday night, my guardian was so drunk that he cannot spell his name yet insecurity reached the peak! As little children back then, we slept without a clue that something was not right that night.
When the atmosphere got so tense that the LRA thugs were spreading to a small town in Block 9 where they looted shops, burnt houses and arrested energetic young men, my uncle quickly rushed in for our rescue. He tried to wake us up because block 10 was going to be their next destination.
It was a sign of death looming right in as my guardian lost his senses. Our uncle tried to wake us up but our blankets were sweeter than never and so we could not wake up. To better save us from the jawbones of the ruthless murderers, we were all dragged and ran with to a safer environment.
As we try to escape, the young boy split from his guardian and pursued an unknown group of people who fortunately took good care of him and ensured his safety, imagine this group were the rebels…
In the public hospital, gunshots and heavy artilleries left mum other patients traumatised due to the fear of the unknown. If the rebels were to reach to reach the hospital it would have marked another phase of horrible actions of the civilians in there.
That scenario unfolded and the night was a horror, but wait, that wasn’t enough to sweep the community off their feet. On the daybreak, a local Ugandan citizen who is also a philanthropist, found his way to announce to the local populace that, all the youths who were arrested were mercilessly stoned to death at Atuk river bank. It was the most emotional moment of the day, the most traumatizing and shocking. At this point, civilians felt it necessary to pick arm and pursue the rebel forces but their quest was turned down by the evil perpetrators (The Uganda People Defence Forces).
Whenever World Refugee Day is celebrated, the memories of two disturbing moments keep clicking on mind. The despicable stoning of youths with bright future who might have added values to our society just doubled the tragic attacks on the community of Achol Pii where civilians were massacred and buried in mass graves. Clearly, the UPDF and the Ugandan government were just a pale shadow of what they are when it comes to protecting civilians mainly from the Acholi community. From an individual perspective, the LRA, is simply a bellicose bully without objective.
The trauma of being in a long period of war led to the disappearance of amazing cultural values, norms, traditions and beliefs as family lineage was fragmented, leaving many to seek refuge in diaspora and consequently parting ways with their relatives forever. May our ancestors stand with to regain all the above.
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