One year of peace in N. Uganda

On Aug. 26 last year, the LRA and the Ugandan government signed a truce, putting an end to 20 years of war and brutality in Northern Uganda. A friend of mine just returned from Gulu recently and he told me last week about how much that town has changed. Four new Hotels are under construction, many of the Night Commuters have returned to their villages, foreign aid is reaching the area and the town is bustling with commercial activity.

These are all hopeful signs for healing and development in a region that has been ravaged by civil war. Still, the truce is fragile, and the wounds are deep and fresh. Much help and healing will be required to bring the Acholi people back on their feet. The question of justice and reconciliation will require some careful and creative consideration. The Ugandan Sunday Monitor published an article that summarizes the current situation:

Today, northern Uganda is more peaceful than ever. In fact, the government team currently consulting victims on justice and peace issues are traversing the region freely in a way they would not just a year ago. Night commuters (displaced children walking to urban areas to sleep in the relative safety of shop verandahs), have greatly reduced. The number of people living in internally displaced people camps has dropped from 2.2 million in 2002 to 1.2 million according to the UN today. But as the fractured region tries to pick the pieces, what do the victims say?

War victims trapped in search for peace and justice, Sunday Monitor, Kampala, Uganda, August 26

Also, check out the Uganda-CAN website for more current info on this issue.

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