War victims in Teso region neglected – leaders

Ms Hellen Lanyom’s mouth which was cut off by the LRA rebeles

District leaders in Soroti and Kumi have raised concern over the slow pace of compensation of victims of the insurgency in Teso region.

This was during a fact finding meeting organized by the Committee on Government Assurances and Implementation to follow up on promises made by the government on the issue. The meeting was held on Thursday, 18 May 2018.

The LCV Chairperson of Soroti, George William Egunyu said compensation of    veterans and arrow boys for cattle stolen from the Iteso during the insurgency, has been pending for long and needs to be handled urgently.

“Compensations take so long to reach their beneficiaries; people who were internally displaced were promised a model village but all in vain. The Arrow Boys are selectively paid,” he said.

The Deputy Vice Chairman LCV for Kumi, Steven Opolot added that many people lost their cattle, which were their source of livelihood.

“People were promised cattle or cash compensation in order to recover financially but it has taken a long time,” he said adding that, “this affects peoples’ confidence in the government to deliver its promises”.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Hassan Fungaroo Kaps (FDC, Obongi County) however, noted that the local governments need to take caution and learn how to differentiate government assurances from the duties of the government.

“If the government promises to build a school as part of resettlement, that is something they are expected to do as part of service delivery; the retirement benefits are not a government assurance,” he said.

Hon. Silas Aogon (Indep, Kumi Municipality) added that the government line Ministries in charge of implementing the assurances tend to frustrate them.

“Sometimes the government officials frustrate these people; you have to ensure that you establish clear communication lines with the people in the government that can help you deliver assurances,” he said.

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