AUF/UYD campaign for IDPs resettlement
Uganda Young Democrats together with The Norwegian Labour Youth (AUF) have joined Gulu District Chairman Nobert Mao in his campaign to have all IDP people resettled in their original homes. This comes at a time when the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Government of Uganda are counting down to a peaceful end of an over two decades war which has affected the social infrastructure and generally the lives of the entire population in Northern Uganda. While meeting a delegation of UYD and the Nowegian Labour Youth leaders in Gulu, Mao noted that he is currently boycotting all engagements by NGOs whose activities discourage people from leaving IDP camps.

The Norwegian delegation led by President Martin Henriksen, Asmund Aukrust(African affairs) and Brenna Tonja(political affairs) together with the UYD leaders visted Opidi- Lwala in Ongako Sub -County where over 300 former IDPs have pioneered the call to return home whereas many others are still timid and need the courage to return. Mao told the delegation that even though the place where IDPs are retuning is a bush, it’s their ancestral home and not the camps.

One of the houses under construction by the returnees

He said the challenge of government now is to provide social services to the returnees and urged the visiting Norwegians to use their political influence in Norway and Europe to draw the International community's attention to the challenges of the returnees who are beginning a new life from Zero.

The UYD donated domestic items to the returnees and Kenneth Kakande the National Chairman and Samuel Muyizzi the Secretary General continued their call to all compassionate people to sacrifice whatever they can to aid the suffering people in this region.

The following were noted as challenges in this campaign for resettlement;

Returnees are returning to almost nothing, Chairman Mao voiced the overwhelming demand for social services such as hospitals, schools, clean water, clothing, infrastructure and so much more. Communities are starting a new life from scratch after over two decades of war.

Land demarcation and ownership uncertainties are a critical issue in this process because land is the most important resource available for an organized resetlement and cultivation which is the main activity of livelihood in this region. The land problem is compounded with an unpopular land policy in the country, communities are afraid that the Land amendment proposals by government is a plot by power wielding capitalists to grab their deserted land. This comes at a time when many high ranking officials in the army and in Government are continuing to be widely implicated in cases of land grabbing and mass evictions of the poor which land is in turn sold to what government terms as its much cherished investors. UYD continues to call upon Government to ensure that land conflicts are resolved, so that returnees regain access to their rightful land in the process of restarting their livelihood.

< Critical also is the role of Non Governmental Organisations operating in this region, their major role should aim at helping these people regain their dignity rather than engaging them in activities that may instead keep them in camps, these organizations should encourage resettlement by assisting those who have started rebuilding their villages.

Most importantly, let us all support the peace talks currently going on in Southern Sudan as this is the only sure way of having a safe secure and developed region in the North of Uganda.


Chairman Mao highlighting challenges of returnees to AUF and UYD

UYD and AUF interacting with IDPs in Gulu

Handing over domestic items to returnees

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 April 2008 )
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