Pesident Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is regretting delays in compensating families of 300 victims of the 1995 Atiak Massacre.
The massacre perpetrated by combatants of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) allegedly commanded by former deputy commander, Vincent Otti happened on April 20th. Huts were burnt down and several children abducted, many of whom are still missing to date.
Vincent Otti, himself born in Atiak sub county was reportedly killed by his boss Joseph Kony following disagreement over the direction of the rebel group during the botched Juba Peace process.
Speaking in Atiak technical School on Saturday, President Museveni said there should be no debate about the need to compensate the families of the victims. He directed his officials in State house to coordinate with the office of the attorney general in ensuring that the families are compensated with immediate effect.
Anthony Akol, the Kilak North County Member of Parliament had asked the President to consider the plight of the victims as critical among other pressing issues. He also said Atiak Technical School which lost its lorry and other properties to soldiers of National Resistance Army (NRA) during the 1986 bush war is yet to receive its share of compensation.
Fred Okot, a member of Ataik Massacre Survivors Association told URN that Atiak technical School lost 48 students and staff members during the massacre.
It should be remembered that this is not the first war compensation decree the President has directed following the end of the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.
In Namokora Sub County in Kitgum district where soldiers of 35th Battalion of National Resistance Army shot and killed 78 people at Wii Geng village in 1986, the President’s repeated directives for compensation are yet to be honored.
The families and relatives of those killed are demanding compensation in accordance to the Acholi traditional justice system in which a human life is paid with 10 heads of cattle and 3 goats.
The President had visited the institute to commission a fundraising drive for shillings two billion for reconstruction of the institute. He pledged to contribute 400 million shillings towards the project in July this year.
According to the president, Uganda has built a strong army capable of preventing a repeat of some of the atrocities the nation suffered in its post-independence era. He said the army is planning to secure Uganda’s borderline with volatile South Sudan with Local Defence Unit (LDUs) to prevent violence in the country spilling over to Uganda.