Warlord Joseph Kony (in white) refused to sign the final peace deal with Museveni
“Districts of beleaguered northern Uganda will host a one week long peace commemorative event, dubbed; “The Northern Uganda Peace Symposium” under theme “DON’T GET TIRED OF PEACE”, scheduled for 1st-8th October 2016 at Pece War Memorial Stadium in Gulu town”.
GULU-UGANDA: It is exactly ten years ago this year when guns fell silent in northern Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels of warlord, Joseph Kony, then fighting to overthrow the government of President Museveni, relocated to the jungle of Garamba forest in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
On August 26, 2006, Uganda government agreed to a ceasefire with the LRA and thereby giving way to the LRA to relocate its operational base from Northern Uganda to Garamba and a protracted Juba Peace Talks; and on February 24, 2008, signed permanent ceasefire agreement. When the LRA failed to signed a Final Peace Agreement in early 2008, the Uganda government launched a botched military attack codenamed; “Operation Lightening Thunder” against the LRA where DRC and Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA) also joined the hunt for LRA on December 14, 2008. On March 15, 2009, Uganda withdrew its troops when the LRA relocated to the Central African Republic (CAR).
Spearheaded by a business entity; One Touch Media Consult Limited, the districts which were affected by the two decade long LRA insurgency will come together for a one week long commemorative event dubbed; “The Northern Uganda Peace Symposium” under the theme; “DON’T GET TIRED OF PEACE” from October 1-8, 2016. The organizers want to thank God and together; we celebrate the ten years of uninterrupted peace after the LRA exited northern Uganda in the year 2006.
“Districts of beleaguered northern Uganda will host a one week long peace commemorative event, dubbed; “The Northern Uganda Peace Symposium” under theme “DON’T GET TIRED OF PEACE”, scheduled for 1st-8th October 2016 at Pece War Memorial Stadium in Gulu town”, says Mr. Okello Willy Charles, the Corporate Executive Director, One Touch Media Consult Limited.
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“The main goal of this event is to fundraise and establish a sustainable bursary scheme to provide quality specialized educational support to young persons with academic and development potentials in order to improve quality of life and promote development in the LRA affected regions”, says Mr. Okello.
War in northern Uganda broke out in the region immediately President Museveni ascended to power in 1986, featuring several rebel outfits such as Uganda Peoples’ Democratic Army (UPDA), Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) of priestess Alice Auma Lakwena, Uganda Peoples’ Army (UPA) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) of warlord Joseph Kony. It displaced about 1.9 million people into forced displacement into “protected villages” (Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDP) Camp, more than 100,000 killed and over 20,000 abducted, mostly children.
Twenty years of insurgency, instability and conflict led to high rates of poverty and unemployment in northern Uganda, but by 2005 a measure of peace and stability had returned to the region. The centerpiece of the post-conflict recovery plan was a decentralized development program, the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF). In 2006, to stimulate employment growth through self-employment, the government launched a new NUSAF component: the Youth Opportunities Program (YOP), which provided cash transfers to groups of young adults with the goal of encouraging trade-based self-employment.
“The event will be celebrated annually and shall be characterized by campfire (peace consolidation discussions), peace and thanksgiving prayers, exhibition and trade shows among other activities”, says Okello.