It Was Only The Gun Speaking launched in Arua

Survivors of the Ombaci massacre of 1981, 24 June 2014

Survivors of the Ombaci massacre of 1981, 24 June 2014


On 24 June 2014, JRP attended the second annual memorial of the Ombaci Massacre of 1981 at the Ombaci Catholic Mission, Arua in the West Nile sub-region of northern Uganda. The event, organised by members of the Ombaci War Victim’s Association, consisted of a memorial prayer led by the Bishop of Arua diocese, the Rt. Rev. Sabino Odoki, and a follow-up event, which included presentations by survivors of the massacre. In his speech, Bishop Odoki called upon the people to speak out against oppression, crimes and human rights violations. He also called for reconciliation among the peoples of West Nile, and with those outside of the sub-region. He also identified the trauma that still exists for victims of massacres like those in Ombaci as needing to be addressed.

The event was also attended by Bernard Atiku, the Member of Parliament for Ayivu county in Arua, who pledged to work with the survivors group to improve the massacre memorial site, as well as the Arua Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Peter Debele, among others.

The event concluded with the launch of JRP’s 20th Field Note It Was Only the Gun Speaking, With a Pool of Blood Flowing: the Ombaci Massacre  June 24, 1981.