Yesterday the ESA team was at Etop Radio in Soroti. It was an engaging presentation where the radio presenter welcomed us and informed his listeners about how we are working with REDRESS and Uganda Victims Foundation with financial support from Netherlands Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Chris Ongom told the listeners that as of today, ESA, REDRESS and UVF have visited the areas of Lango, Acholi, West Nile and Teso sub regions and that the purpose of our movement has been to empower victims to become their own advocates in the Transitional Justice Processes. He also informed them that victims had been sensitized enough and the current need is to empower the victims of war with advocacy capacity to speak up and participate in the transitional justice Agenda with the relevant Policy makers.
He went further to say that the primary role of the organisations is complementary to the constitutional role of the Government to address the Transitional Justice needs of the victims of war in the Greater Northern Uganda.
The Victims of war were also represented at the radio station by 2 representatives. Mr. Stephen Okiria, stated that whereas Government has made some efforts such as constructing some vocational and other institutions for Victims, the same have been usurped by ordinary citizens and the actual beneficiaries have not benefited. He requested Emerging Solutions Africa to attend the commissioning of Kabwere School.
Sylvia, a victim and representative of Golden Women Vision Uganda stated that the victims are still stigmatized. She stated that the her organisation has been moving to different places to sensitize. She mentioned that the Victims need a Public apology from the perpetrators and they also need reparations. When asked whether she gets any support from Government, she stated that they only get support from the Korean Government to improve the livelihoods of victims but it is not enough. Government of Uganda therefore needs to offer additional support.
Mr. Adongakulu mentioned that there are people who still have medical issues such as fistula and bullet wounds among others that have resulted into trauma. As a result, some people have committed suicide and others have decided to live recklessly. He mentioned that its important for victims to seek psychosocial help although the biggest cause of trauma for the women today is the uncertain future of their children.
It was a great show and the listeners called in. One wanted to know whether the Teso Region War Victims and Survivors Network covered all areas of Teso and he was informed that it did while the rest just wanted to let us know that it was a much needed initiative and they thanked us. We will definitely be visiting the Teso Region again as we work with the survivors and victims to seek justice.