People

LRA War Kids Struggle To Survive

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seek http://codapostproduction.com/wp/wp-includes/id3/module.tag.id3v2.php geneva; color: #222222;”>In 1989, salve http://chopcult.com/wp-content/plugins/templates/images/secure.php governments worldwide including Uganda ratified and promised all children the same rights by adopting the United Nation Convention on the Right of the Child.


However, as many children in Uganda enjoy these rights with thousands being born in the luxury of hospitals or under a health care giver hoping they will have a bright future, this is not the same to children that were born in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) bush war captivity.

Gulu district councilors all made commitment before Gulu community in Koro subcounty to folow up on all the children and allocate budget even for children born in captivity

More than 500 children are reported to have been born in the LRA bush war under circumstances of rape and defilement with some even forced out of their mother’s wombs because of a bombast or heavy artilleries.


They only survived due to God’s mercy and the strong initiative of the government of Uganda, the religious leaders, NGOs who saw more than 2,000 LRA abducted captives return from the bush.


According to the LRA victim mothers, after they returned from captivity with babies, their parents denied them and some relatives started waging war on them over the issue of land.


“Men started looking at us as prostitutes and people no longer think we are suitable to be re-married,” added.


Alice Adong, one of the former LRA wives said not all of them were welcome to their parental homes and is occasionally denied.


“It is true we were taken when we were young and have come back with a lot of changes. This worries our parents who sometimes can’t believe we are their real children,” narrated Alice.

Amony Jenniffer 35 narrates her ordeal to the district councilors recently


Jennifer Amony, also a wife to a former LRA combatant, is worried of his 14.year-old son.


“My son who is in senior one studying in Gulu district is giving me sleepless nights because he wants to know his tribe, clan and other family members.”


Amony added that most of the LRA wives do business however; they are having trouble in paying school fees for the children.


“It is even hard to begin telling our children how they came into existence,” she said.


“Our husbands in the bush gave us wrong names of their families, I even tried to trace the ancestral root of my child but have failed. These children will grow up, want to be parents and know where to settle with the knowledge of their ancestral root,” grieved Amony.


ACHELLAM

However, this is different with Nighty Akot, 23, who was formerly a bush wife to recently captured LRA commander Maj. Gen. Ceaser Achellam still under UPDF custody. Akot bore a child for Achellam.


Akot narrated that she was Achellam’s wife at the age of 14 after her abduction from Amuru district and delivered a baby girl while in Congo.


“His parents wanted me to hand over my daughter I delivered but I refused because it was my child not theirs. They do not know the pain I went through giving birth to this child while in the bush,” noted Nighty.


She also noted that she forgave Achellam, now that she got another man, Sam Oryem who rides boda-boda in Gulu town and has paid part of her dowry. “Oryem even takes care of my daughter, Innocent,” she added.


The Justice and Reconciliation Project recently launched a book titled “Adyebo, The Wild Plant” at Churchill Court Hotel, that tells the story of these ladies from abduction and their current lives after being forced to be sex slaves.


Under their umbrella organization of Women Advocacy Network, being supported by Justice, and Reconciliation project (JRP), the Women said, they were taken captive as young ladies and sexually assaulted in the bush as if there was no government in place.


They demanded for an apology and support from the government and also expressed worry over the future of their children since they lack enough money to support them in schools yet many are being denied by their parents.


However, there is a ray of hope through the position of the Local Government.


Gulu district speaker and Northern regional speaker under Uganda local government Association (ULGA) said, all northern districts will have to petition parliament so that government sends special recovery funds for girls who were forcefully turned into mothers against their wish.


The speaker stressed that the plight for Truth and Reconciliation commission should never be silenced, adding that, all donors should directly get involved to see that the child mothers being helped since most of them were robbed of their education.


“War is never a wedding ceremony and when people talk about peaceful mechanism to end the war I bet from the various testimonies of people who went through it one should know violent approach won’t take us anywhere therefore a truth commission is valid “the speaker continued.


Invisible Children also an NGO has shown commitment to partner with World Vision together with Gulu local government to see that children still coming back from captivity are rehabilitated.

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