Excitement in the Air as IDPs Gradually Return Home

951 Views Pader, Uganda
For the first time in 20-years Bosco Olaa, a father of one is happy to breathe an air of peace in his new home in Pader. Olaa is one of the hundreds of people who were displaced by the Lords Resistance Army rebel's insurgency in Northern Uganda. But with relative peace returning, Olaa and 30 other families have returned to Latanya Parish in Aruu county, Pader district. When Uganda Radio Network visited Latanya parish yesterday, many formerly displaced persons were found tirelessly clearing the bush and cleaning up the roads. Many others were found cutting poles and grass to build huts in the new homesteads. Sounding excited, Olaa said he is convinced that the relative peace and calm in the parish would enable him open up new fields for agriculture. He is also optimistic that he will be able to raise money from his produce to educate his children. Cisto Odongo, and his family of six returned from the camp recently and have been spending a night in the open, pending the construction of their huts. Odongo says that with the return of peace, cultural practices like hunting, dances, and making bon fire around which families gather in the night would resume. Whereas some of the IDPs are happy to be returning to their land, others still prefer to stay in the camps. David Olanya, the Latanya IDP camp leader, blames lack of essential amenities for the slow resettlement rate. He says only 30 out of the 187 families have moved out of the camp. Olanya says that some IDP's fear to return to their homes for fear of being killed by the undetonated weapons that could be scattered in the bushes, following several years of insurgency in Northern Uganda. But Alfred Anywar, one of the IDPs still living in the camp says he and his colleagues are waiting for a day when they will celebrate the signing of the peace agreement between Joseph Kony and President Museveni.


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