LIRA – Two days before the United Nations designated International Day of the Disappeared, families from across northern Uganda will come together on Friday, 28 August 2015, in Lira town to remember their missing loved ones. The day-long event is part of a ‘sub-regional dialogue’ on missing persons as a result of conflict in northern Uganda organised by the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP). Families of the missing, civil society as well as religious and traditional leaders from Teso, Lango, Acholi and West Nile sub-regions will meet at Apostolic Social Center for a procession from Lira district headquarters, a symbolic candle-lighting ceremony and a dialogue.
“The sub-regional dialogue is important, first, to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared,” JRP Community Mobilisation Team Leader Isaac Okwir Odiya said. “It is also an opportunity for stakeholders in northern Uganda to join hands to create awareness about the disappeared and to identify the means to address the enormous legacy of disappearances in Uganda,” he added.
The dialogue is being held as part of a joint campaign being run by the JRP and a collective of families of the missing known as ‘The Right to Know’ to document and promote awareness of the challenges facing missing persons and their families in northern Uganda. This year, the Right to Know campaign aims at ensuring national observance and commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared in Uganda.
The International Day of the Disappeared is commemorated annually on the 30th of August following the adoption of UN General Assembly resolution 65/209. In Uganda, thousands of civilians in northern Uganda were abducted and went missing as a result of systematic abductions of children and youth by the Lord’s Resistance Army and the National Resistance Army between 1986 and 2006. Despite being a UN General Assembly Member State, Uganda is yet to officially observe the International Day of the Disappeared.
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About the Justice and Reconciliation Project: The Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) promotes locally sensitive and sustainable peace in Africa’s Great Lakes region by focusing on the active involvement of grassroots communities in local-level transitional justice. Formerly a partnership of the Gulu District NGO Forum and the Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, Canada, JRP has played a key role in transitional justice in Uganda since 2005, through seeking to understand and explain the interests, needs, concerns and views of the communities affected by war between the Lord‟s Resistance Army (LRA) and Government of Uganda (GOU). JRP became an independent NGO in 2010 with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Kampala. For more information please visit http://www.justiceandreconciliation.com.
Download this press release here: Press Release – Families of the Missing to Commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared 2015-08-27