A group comprising over 100 individuals, including businessmen and women, who suffered injuries, lost family members, and merchandise during the Kony insurgency along the Kampala Pakwach Road from 1996 to the early 2000s, have forcefully entered the state lodge in Mvara village, Arua city, to demand compensation.
These individuals, totaling 1102, have come together under the Kony Way Victims Association in Arua City, demanding approximately sh.99bn from the Government as restitution.
Alemiru Constance, one of the victims, recounted an incident on September 19, 2002, when rebels set fire to the bus she was traveling in, leading to the loss of her entire family.
She continues to suffer from the aftermath of the attack, carrying bomb fragments in her head, rendering her unable to carry anything on her head or braid her hair. In that fateful incident, she lost her husband, a 3-year-old child, and an unborn baby. Expressing her demands, she emphasized her losses, including merchandise she was transporting from Kiyindi to obtain ‘Mukene’.
After failing to find a resolution through legal means, the group had previously filed a case against the Government but withdrew it in May 2021. Subsequently, they resorted to issuing ultimatums and staging hunger strikes. Their lawyer,
Sam Ondoma of Alaka and Co. Advocates, indicated their readiness to go back to court if their concerns remain unaddressed. He highlighted the various attempts made to seek resolution, including a letter sent to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, which remained unanswered, despite additional efforts from the Speaker of Parliament.
Matua Alex, the chairman of the Kony War Victims Association, revealed that the prolonged hardship had led some members to resort to suicide, while others succumbed to the effects of stress. Expressing their deep frustration, he disclosed that more than 100 members of the association had passed away before receiving the compensation owed to them by the government.