Monday, September 11, 2006

Govt to Blame for Insecurity in Amuria - Ochen

Edgar R. BatteAmuria
The LC5 Chairman of Amuria district, Mr Julius Ochen, has blamed the government for the persistent insecurity in the area owing to cattle rustling.
Ochen was on August 2, speaking at the official reception of Actionaid's Get on Board team at Kapelebyong Internally Displaced Peoples' (IDP) camp in Amuria.
He said the district was so insecure that in the previous week alone, Karimojong cattle rustlers had killed a local guard and a local leader and raided 37 head of cattle.
Ochen said the government was answerable for the persistent insecurity.
He threatened to take the government to the International Criminal Court for atrocities committed against the people of Teso for the last 27 years.
Amuria district is in Teso region. "If security were privatised, I would be accountable for the security of [my] people but at the moment, I tried all I could to stop cattle rustling in vain,"Ochen said.
The Defence Minister, Dr Crispus Kiyonga , recently apologised to the people of Teso, Acholi and Lango for the government's failure to protect them from the constant killing wraths of LRA rebels led by Joseph Kony.
He said killings by the Karimajong warriors and LRA rebels were a result of government's failure to provide security and protect its people.
Kiyonga, who was the chief guest at a prayer ceremony to commemorate the first LRA attack in Teso in 2003, was quoted to have said, "It is very sad for me to be here today to remember this very sad day when LRA rebels entered Teso and butchered people like chicken. We are here to reflect on two things; our suffering and chat a way forward."
Kapelebyong is one of the IDP camps in the highly insecure region. With over 2,000 inhabitants, the camp is menaced by other problems apart from insecurity.
It lacks clean water, has health and food inadequacies and the only primary school there cannot accommodate the big number of pupils it has.
Such are some of the other indirect atrocities Ochen says continue to ruin the people at the hands of the government's failure to provide (security).
However, Actionaid, through its Get on Board anti-poverty campaign, has committed itself to include Kapelebyong IDP camp in its plan to address food shortage through setting up food reserves this year.
Actionaid Country Director Amanda Serumaga affirmed their commitment to working with communities in Teso.
The Get on Board bus team continues with its anti-poverty campaign to communities in the districts of Kalangala, Lira, Gulu, Kampala and Soroti, among others.

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