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Abok massacre survivors push for compensation

Some vitcims of Abok massacre displaying pluck cards at Abok sub county headquarters. URN photo

Oyam, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Victims of the Abok camp massacre in Oyam district are crying out to the government for help.

On June 8, 2004, a group of 100 LRA rebels led by Dominic Ongwen attacked a camp for Internally Displaced People-IDP at Abok in Ngai sub county, killing 25 people, including 5 children. The rebels also abducted 26 people and burned more than 600 huts.

17 years later, the survivors of the massacre are still waiting for compensation from the government for what they say was its failure to protect them from the brutal attack.

Julius Peter Atiim whose father was killed during the attack says that he is single-handedly taking care of his siblings. Atiim says he has since then failed to recover from the attack after losing everything.

Filda Anyima, a resident of Abok “A” village who witnessed the death of her husband and two children, says that she is overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing and taking care of 11 people.

Anyima says that due to lack of schools, one of her daughters fled the home after completing O’ level. According to Anyima, the only support they received from the government is the food and blankets which were distributed after the attack.

James Opio, a resident of Abok village whose wife and son were killed says that life has never been the same.

Despite the government having constructed monuments and built vocational schools at other massacre sites like Barlonyo and Abia in Lira and Alebtong respectively, Abok has been neglected.

Philips Ogile, the LC III chairperson of Abok sub county wants the government to consider developing and recognizing Abok as a memorial site.

Benson Dila Oyuku, the Oyam district LC V chairperson says that he will follow up on the matter of compensation with the government.

Rev. Jackson Nyanga, the Parish Priest of Abok asked the government to commemorate the day saying prayers help to heal wounds of the survivors.

Every year, Abok sub-county leadership organizes prayers to commemorate the day. This year, the prayers were attended by few victims and the sub-county leadership.

In May, International Criminal Court (ICC) handed Dominic Ongwen, a 25-year jail term. He reportedly committed the crimes in Northern Uganda between 2002 and 2005 in Abok, Lukodi, Odek and Pajule Internally Displaced Camps.

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