The government of Uganda through the Ministry of Defense has responded to the compensation demand by Konyi war victims in the West Nile region.
In a meeting held at Onduparaka trading center in Arua city on recently, members from Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence on behalf of the Ministry of Defense went on ground to verify documentary evidence of the victims for further action.
The 1,102 members of Arua Konyi war victims association are demanding for shs99billion from the government as compensation for the losses they incurred during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency in Northern Uganda.
Through Alaka and Company Advocates, the Arua Konyi war victims who were mostly traders gave up to 30th of November 2021 for the government to respond to their demand after withdrawing the court case they had earlier filed.
In March this year, Arua Konyi war victims association dragged the government of Uganda to court and later decided to withdraw the case in May with the aim of giving room for the government to resolve the matter outside court.
The court case was withdrawn on condition that the government responds to the demand within this 2021/22 financial year. The victims further said that failure to comply, they will be left with no option other than rejuvenating the case.
The team from the Ministry of Defense - Department of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence was led by Maj. Aggrey Mworozi.
"Thank you very much for having organized your papers. We did not have many of these papers. If you have withdrawn the case against the government, we are grateful and on behalf of the government, we will want to see something being done," Maj. Mworozi promised.
Mr Alex Matua, the chairperson of Arua Konyi war victims association appreciated the government’s response to the compensation demand tabled by his members.
However, Samuel Ondoma, the Lawyer representing the victims equally disclosed that the case will be revived if his clients are not compensated within this financial year.
"We had given the government until November this year to make sure that this matter is settled peacefully. These people’s going to the court was the last option because they are pro-government, a reason they have been pushing for dialogue in the last 20 years. We expect that within this 2021/2022 financial year, these victims should be compensated and if not, we will resume the court case in July next year," Ondoma said.
Members of Arua Konyi war victim association have continued to blame some of their leaders, alleging that they do not present their issues to the responsible offices of the central government, a reason their compensation has dragged this far.
Mr Malon Avutia, the Mayor of Ayivu Division advised that in case of failure by some leaders, alternative channels of the government can be used to present the victims’ compensation demand.
Formed in 2008, members of Arua Kony war victims association is a group of businessmen and women who lost their properties along Pakwack-Karuma road during the LRA insurgency from 1996 to early 2000s.