Ayena compensation remarks spark protests

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The former Member of Parliament for Oyam North in Oyam District, Mr Krispus Ayena Odongo, is at the centre of controversy once again following his remarks about war compensation.
Recently, Mr Ayena, the lawyer representing former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen in the ongoing trial at The-Hague-based International Criminal Court said hundreds of war victims seeking compensation from government were not yet born at the time of the conflict.

He said since they are underage, they do not qualify for compensation. He also said no verification and validation exercise has taken place in Lango sub-region.

However, strong advocates of economic justice say Mr Ayena’s remarks were disrespectful to the thousands of people killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in northern Uganda.

Several Members of Parliament from Lango sub-region have vowed “not to sit by and watch greedy people” try to interfere with the compensation process.

Police said Mr Ayena’s remarks sparked off demonstrations in Oyam and Lira Town last week. According to the head of security in Oyam, Ms Gillian Akullo, also the Resident District Commissioner, hundreds of war victims protested what they called continued underground moves by Mr Ayena to sabotage their compensation by the government.

The more than 200 elders drawn from the once war-ravaged sub-counties of Minakulu, Myene, Kamdini, Otwal, Loro, Iceme and Ngai stormed the RDC’s office, demanding that government should ignore claims by Mr Ayena and instead asked the State to compensate them for the harm suffered during the conflict.

“President Museveni, Lango loves you. Consider us and compensate our lost properties during insurgencies in the north. Verification and validation has been done,” they reminded Mr Museveni through a message inscribed on a banner.

Dokolo North MP Paul Amoru described Mr Ayena as an enemy of progress and development. “… As leaders of Lango, we condemn those trying to frustrate the compensation process,” he added.

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