DECEMBER 10, 2009: Former LRA Accussed of Child Neglect

Former LRA Accused of Child Neglect
SOURCE: New Vision
By Chris Ocowun

Kampala — Child mothers have accused the former commanders of the Lord's Resistance Army, with whom they produced children, of abandoning their families.

They called upon the Government and development partners to build houses for them so that they can live independent lives.

The child mothers said many of the commanders had chosen to return to their former wives, abandoning them without any support.

They said a few of the commanders had accepted to continue living with their spouses and children produced during the war.

"The child mothers continue to suffer with the children born in captivity as some of the commanders died, others are still in the bush, while others have rejected them," said a memorandum read by Patrick Opira, a former abductee.

"We encounter a lot of difficulties in remarrying because of the children we produced with the rebels. The men we try to get married to do not want to support these children," said Monica Atto, a child mother of five.

She told leaders during a conference to mark World Vision week held at Acholi Inn on Wednesday that the Government should support the education of their children.

Opira said education of the formerly abducted children was interrupted adding that they should be supported by the Government and development partners.

The formerly abducted persons have also requested for support to those with pieces of ammunition still stuck in their bodies to get specialised health services.

The Gulu district secretary for community development, Santa Oketa, advised the mothers not to despair but have hope and utilise the skills attained to make their lives better.She added that there were many needy child mothers in other rural areas who lack support.