Posts Tagged ‘Gulu’

Gulu

Former internally displaced people who have returned to their homes in Gulu District are facing shortage of clean drinking water, Daily Monitor has learnt.

In an interview over the weekend, the chairman of Palaro Sub-county in Gulu, Mr David Ngole, said women walk for over 15 kilometres in search of drinking water. Mr Ngole urged the government to intervene immediately, adding that any delay could severely frustrate resettlement efforts in the war battered district.

Danger

“They are exposed to rapists at night and snake bites as they travel in the bush in search of water,” he added. Mr Ngole added that water sources in villages like Abwoc Bel, Wipolo, Owalo and Kalali dried up when people were still in the camps.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of Works and Technical Services, Mr Alex Otim, said some women are forced to collect rain water from mud ponds. “Some of them drink unsafe water and this exposes them to risks of getting bilharzia,” Mr Otim said. He added that the council would make provision of safe water and roads a priority.

Official figures indicate that in Gulu District alone, over 85 per cent of former displaced persons have returned home and several camps have been closed. The Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency displaced thousands of people in northern and eastern Uganda and forced them into camps.

As reported via Daily Monitor: Truth Everyday; Uganda News, Business, Travel, Sports, Elections  – Gulu residents trek miles for water.

Some of the patients at Gulu hospital sleeping on spring beds without mattresses

By Chris Ocowun

MANY patients at Gulu referral hospital sleep on the floor, or on beds without mattresses. Terezina Akot, 60, said she was forced to buy papyrus mats to spread on the floor for her patient.

“When we came we found all the beds occupied. We had to buy papyrus mats. That is where we sleep with many other patients,” Akot narrated.

She told The New Vision last Thursday that other patients sleep on clothing.

Conditions at night are said to be worse with patients and their caretakers fighting for space on the ward floors with some sleeping in the corridors.

“Even the drugs are not enough. After surgical operations, the medical workers tell us to buy medicine. I have been here for one month and bought drugs worth sh16,000, yet there is no improvement in my condition,” said Lily Auno, who was nursing a large wound on her leg.

Conditions in the maternity ward are worse. Mothers who have just given birth are told to vacate their beds for women who are in labour.

The wards for surgery, children and out-patients are also over-crowded.

“On Mondays, more than 500 patients queue at the dispensing window to receive drugs, Others sit under the sun to wait for drugs. We used to have about 100 patients at the out-patients department on Mondays,” a medic remarked.

Nurses noted that though some of the wards have been renovated, they lacked mattresses, beddings and other accessories, and that the few remaining beds in them were in poor condition.

The medical superintendent of the hospital, Dr. Yovenito Agel Akii, acknowledged the number of inpatients in the various wards was more than double their capacity, and that there was a shortage of drugs, supplies and medical workers: “Gulu referral hospital is a 250-bed hospital and yet in the last six months, the number of our inpatients has doubled from 400-600. We receieve a budget for 250 beds and yet we are handling double this number.”

read the full report via New Vision Online : Gulu hospital lacks beds.

Who was Bok Abudema?

Abudema hails from Alero-Lamogi in Amuru district. He worked as a sugarcane cutter in Jinja during the Obote II regime.

When President Yoweri Museveni seized power in 1986, he joined the UPDA, a rebel group composed of soldiers of the former Okello regime which fought to overthrow the new Government.

He joined the LRA in 1988 after Kony was attacked by Museveni’s NRA at Bwobo railways station in Alero Sub-county, Gulu District. He was one of the few remaining LRA fighters who had joined the rebel group voluntarily.

Abudema was involved in many massacres in northern Uganda. In 1998, he took part in the killing of 11 LRA fighters who were accused of practicing witchcraft in Jebelein, the LRA camp in Southern Sudan.

In December 1999, after the passing of the Amnesty Act by the Ugandan Parliament, he executed the then number two, Otti Lagony, in their camp in Sudan on Kony’s orders.

In 2002, Abudema commanded a raid in Agoro Sub-county in Kitgum district in which several civilians and UPDF soldiers died and at least 100 people were abducted. The trading centre was looted and the military barracks burnt down.

In April 2002, he took part in a massacre of about 800 civilians at Katire village in Southern Sudan.

In 2003, he was among the senior LRA commanders who crossed into the Teso region in eastern Uganda and carried out horrific massacres and massive abductions.

On October 2, 2007, he took part in the execution of Kony’s deputy, Vincent Otti, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Abudema shouted the order ‘fire’ to the firing squad. Earlier, he had participated in arresting, torturing and humiliating Otti.

He was reportedly wounded during the December 14, 2008 air strikes on the LRA camps in eastern Congo under the joint offensive.

via Welcome To The Sunday Vision online: Uganda’s leading weekly.

Status of the Camp Phase-Out Process in Acholi, Lango and Teso Sub-regions






Region/District Camps officially recognized by the government Camps meeting Phase-out Criteria but yet to be assessed by DCPC Camps not meeting 50% Phase-out criteria Camps Assessed and recommended for Phase-out/ Decommissioning by DCPC Camps closed/ Decommissioned
Gulu 31 14 1 10 6
Amuru 34 12 8 14 0
Pader 31 13 0 18 0
Kitgum 25 7 0 18 0
Katakwi 44 2 0 0 42
Amuria 17 5 0 0 12
Lira 41 0 0 0 41
Oyam 20 0 0 0 20






TOTAL 243 53 9 60 121






Legend




Phase-out criteria At least 50% of camp population has returned



DCPC District Camp Phase-out Committee















UNHCR Uganda October 5, 2009









IDMC | Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Uganda.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) , led by Joseph Kony, operated in the north from bases in southern Sudan. The LRA committed numerous abuses and atrocities, including the abduction, rape, maiming, and killing of civilians, including children. In addition to destabilising northern Uganda from bases in Sudan, the LRA congregated in the Bunia area in eastern Congo. They linked up with the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) and other rebel groups battling with forces from the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD)

Some accused the Sudan of supporting the LRA and Uganda of allegedly supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the rebel movement that fought against the Sudanese government. Although both governments denied the accusations, they severed diplomatic relations with eachother on April 22, 1995. However, relations between the two countries improved. In 1999, Sudan and Uganda signed an agreement under which Sudan said it would stop aiding the LRA and Uganda would stop aiding the SPLA.

The LRA continued to kill, torture, maim, rape, and abduct large numbers of civilians, virtually enslaving numerous children. Although its levels of activity diminished somewhat compared with 1997, the area that the LRA targeted grew. The LRA sought to overthrow the Ugandan Government and inflicted brutal violence on the population in northern Uganda. LRA forces also targeted local government officials and employees. The LRA also targeted international humanitarian convoys and local NGO workers.

The LRA has abducted large numbers of civilians for training as guerrillas; most victims were children and young adults. The LRA abducted young girls as sex and labor slaves. Other children, mainly girls, were reported to have been sold, traded, or given as gifts by the LRA to arms dealers in Sudan. While some later escaped or were rescued, the whereabouts of many children remain unknown.

In particular, the LRA abducted numerous children and, at clandestine bases, terrorized them into virtual slavery as guards, concubines, and soldiers. In addition to being beaten, raped, and forced to march until exhausted, abducted children were forced to participate in the killing of other children who had attempted to escape. Amnesty International reported that without child abductions, the LRA would have few combatants. More than 6,000 children were abducted during 1998, although many of those abducted later escaped or were released. Most human rights NGOs place the number of abducted children still held captive by the LRA at around 3,000, although estimates vary substantially.

Civil strife in the north has led to the violation of the rights of many members of the Acholi tribe, which is largely resident in the northern districts of Gulu and Kitgum. Both government forces and the LRA rebels–who themselves largely are Acholi–committed violations. LRA fighters in particular were implicated in the killing, maiming, and kidnaping of Alcholi tribe members, although the number and severity of their attacks decreased somewhat compared with 1997.

The LRA rebels say they are fighting for the establishment of a government based on the biblical Ten Commandments. They are notorious for kidnapping children and forcing them to become rebel fighters or concubines. More than one-half-million people in Uganda’s Gulu and Kitgum districts have been displaced by the fighting and are living in temporary camps, protected by the army.

Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).