187 Bodies Exhumed as IDP Camps Phase Out
By Cissy Makumbi
Amuru — The remains of about 187 people who died in camp and were buried in Pabbo Trading Centre, Amuru District, have been exhumed in an emotional camp-phase out ceremony.
The ceremony symbolized the closure of 10 camps for Internally Displaced People in Kilak County including Pabbo, which was the biggest in northern Uganda with 65,000 people during the 20 year old war waged by the Lords Resistance Army.
Relatives were overwhelmed by emotion, as they picked the remains of their loved ones for reburial in their ancestral homes.
The exercise is also meant to pave way for the resettlement and recovery efforts in the area.
Local leaders and relatives performed rituals before exhuming the bodies.
A Daily Monitor reporter, who witnessed the exhumations, says at least 49 goats and one sheep were slaughtered for the ceremony.
The exercise is expected to give room for the development of Pabbo Sub-county headquarters.
On Wednesday, about 169 bodies were exhumed with the help of relatives.
A similar exercise had taken place on January 8 where 18 bodies were exhumed and taken by relatives for reburial at their ancestral homes.
Pogo Parish Chief Charles Ochola, who was in charge of the exercise, confirmed that there are plans to construct a conference hall and staff houses on the land where the bodies are being exhumed.
"The former IDPs were given one year to organise themselves to return to their homes and over 322 households vacated the area," Mr Ochola explained on Wednesday.
The exercise is being carried out with support from Japan International Co-operation Agency. (Jica)
The Jica Field Extension Worker, Mr Justine Obina, said: "We have had several meetings with the former IDPs about exhuming bodies of their loved ones. The majority showed willingness to take them because the sub-county allocated to us this area to develop it."