CSOs ask govt to compensate war affected communities

KAMPALA.
A consortium of civil society organisations have asked government to show justice and pay for the damages inflicted on communities that were affected by different wars in Uganda.

The Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD) in alliance with Refugee Law Project (RLP), Human Rights Network Uganda (HURINET-U), Uganda Fund (UF) argued that Uganda has not done an attractive move in addressing transition justice to particularly the people of Northern Uganda.

“There is unmet need for reparation for areas that were tone by the past conflicts in Uganda yet this is a key victim centered of transition justice initiative. Transition justice needs to be conceptual and victim centered,” said Ms Juliet Nakato the acting director of Programmes at ACORD offices on Tuesday in Kampala.

She said ACORD has summoned a one day forum today at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala starting at 8pm to 4pm with the aim of bringing together Civil Society Organisations and other stake holders in transition justice.

“As CSO we need to work together to aocate for holistic, transparent, accountability, and effective transitional justice process. We need to have transition justice policy that incorporates peace building and victim compensation principles,” said Ms Nakato.

She alleged they also want to identify the ongoing interventions gaps and opportunities for actors working within the transition justice and strengthen collaborations and create synergies among different stakeholders in transitional justice process.

Speaking at a news conference summoned at ACORD offices in Kampala on Tuesday, Hon Sam Okuonzi said, as greater North MPs, they have drafted a policy, which seeks to have a National Transition Justice to cater for areas affected by conflicts.

“It is almost 10 years ever since the war in northern Uganda stopped, but residents are still suffering from the magnitudes with no much help yet recently Gulu Regional Referral Hospital released a report showing that over 61 per cent of people in Northern Uganda have mental issues, which is a result of the civil conflict that was in the region for more than 20 years. Such people need physical and mental rehabilitation, which is one of the things we seek to address in the policy,” said Mr Okuonzi.

He gave an example of Sri Lanka where the government has compensated and rebuilt structures that were destroyed during a 30 year civil conflict, saying even in Uganda can have such Programmes.
The meeting is expected to be graced by Hon Justice Gidudu the Chairperson of Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and Ms Margret Ajok the National Transitional Aisor. Other expected participants are the Minister of Justice, Lawyers, members of parliament, religious and cultural

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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