12 June 2012

Uganda: Displaced Acholi Want to Go Home

Up to 11,000 internally displaced persons from northern Uganda, who fled to Kampala at the peak of the LRA insurgency, are seeking help from the Acholi leadership to return home.

At a meeting organised by Africa Arise and the Acholi chiefdom in Gulu over the weekend, the displaced persons said they wanted to return home but feared their land might have been occupied by other IDPs who returned earlier.

Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced during war between Joseph Kony's LRA and the Uganda government. most moved into official IDP camps in the region, but others went farther. Those in Kampala fear they might be evicted by the Kampala Capital City Authority, whose executive director, Jennifer Musisi, is vigorously moving to reorganise Kampala.

Lucy Obita, a representative of the former urban IDPs, who has been staying at Acholi Quarters in Nakawa since 1996, said they needed to move from their current residency lest they be evicted by KCCA. The displaced say they would need transport to move the property they have accumulated since they fled to Kampala.

According to a survey carried out by Africa Arise in 2010, 74 percent of the residents in the quarters want to return home to Acholi. The coordinator for the Acholi Chiefdom, Santo Okema, allayed their fears, saying there were chiefs on the ground who would help them settle.

The Gulu district vice chairperson, Newton Ojok, said the internally displaced would be considered in phase two of the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan for northern Uganda.

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