November 27, 2007: Religious body pleads for Gulu women

Religious body pleads for Gulu women

SOURCE: The Monitor

Cissy Makumbi

WOMEN in Acholi sub region, who have suffered in the last two decades of LRA war deserve to be empowered, the programme officer Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI), has said.

 Speaking to Daily Monitor on Friday, Ms Lanyero Karimah said since the government is registering LRA land mine victims, women should also be considered.

Many women have been victims of the 21-year insurgency in northern Uganda. Some of them have been raped, defiled or their children abducted, leaving them in a state of psychological torture.

It is estimated that 1.7 million people were forced into camps, tens of thousands killed and several children forced to join the LRA. Ms Lanyero said the women should be given incentives to start up income-generating activities. 

"The government should put a baseline assessment and register the women who were raped and defiled", she said, adding: "Empowering a woman is an eye opener to the nation."

"Women are peace lovers, men are the initiators of conflicts, but at the end, women are the ones who carry the burden", Ms Lanyero alleged. 

She said the peace talks in Juba have not addressed the suffering that women have gone through in the last two decades.
The LRA team is carrying out consultations in the war-affected regions, asking people to forgive them for their atrocities. The government finished its consultations in October.

 The government and the LRA broke off for recess from the peace talks in June to consult LRA victims on how best to develop a proposal for the implementation of Agenda Three on accountability and reconciliation of the talks.

They also wanted to consider an alternative justice system to the ICC's provision, such as the Acholi traditional system of Mato-Oput.
Ms Lanyero cited the example of Ajulu camp in Patiko Sub-county in Gulu District where womenmaintain the homes while mst of the men go drinking. 

"Here, most women go back to their former homes and dig but the men just wait to sell the foodstuffs brought home by the women and drink," she said.

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