African Youth Initiative Network
AYINET - Uganda
His Grace Archbishop Desmond Tutu appeals to Ugandans to embrace Transitional Justice as it offers the possibility for a better future. Read more
"I received assistance from AYINET. There are tens of thousands, not here today, who still need it. I ask God to uplift the people, who are funding AYINET." (John Ochola, LRA - Survivor)
"Everyone, citizens, the Government, even CSOs, they look at victims as a burden. And they think that whatever we demand is given to us as a favour, while in fact we are only demanding our right." (Ochola John, whose lips, nose, ears and fingers were mutilated by the LRA)
"I would like to thank all of the guests for coming to this three-day Conference. It would not be possible to create lasting peace without the participation of all of the individuals that are present today. I would like to give a special thanks to the victims who have made the journey from their home areas so that they can ensure that their voices and needs are heard and addressed." (Kahinda Otafiire, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, officially opened the National War Victims' Conference)
"Young people, you have the ability to bridge the violent past to a prosperous future. We look to you as a generation of peace. Your children will one day marry someone my generation might have regarded as an enemy. There is much reason for hope." (His Grace Archbishop Desmond Tutu, addressing the participants of the National War Victims' Conference)
"Even though most victims suffered as a result of political differences, victims' current needs must not be politicised and we all must work to assist victims."
(Felix Kulayigye, the Chief Political Commissar of the UPDF)
"This Conference is an uncommon occasion for surviving victims of this experience to tell their story, not as beggars that seek to be pitied, but as citizens who have a right to contribute to the shaping of a Government that will create their freedom and equality, and, through justice, restore their dignity and the sanctity of their lives." (Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, on the far right, from South Africa spoke on behalf of TrustAfrica, the event's major donor)
Participants of the National War Victims’ Conference. Representatives from Uganda, Kenya, DRC, Mali, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Sudan, South Affrica, Austria, UK, Germany, Columbia, USA, Denmark, France, Slovenia, Burundi and Central African Republic
“For the first time in history we are studying war in order to learn, not how to win the next one but how to prevent it.” Chic Dambach, Alliance for Peace Building and former Chairperson for Peace Corps Association
"We might not have suffered from the same perpetrator, or at the same time, or at the same place, neither to the same extent; but we have all suffered and it is our suffering that has brought us together today. We must ensure Transitional Justice respond to Victims’ Needs" (Victor Ochen, AYINET Director)
"The ICC can only deal with a handful of LRA-cases; however, the real responsibility lies with us in Uganda. International crimes before the International Crimes Division at the High Court include the ADF conflict, other Ugandan conflicts, and other international crimes, like trafficking, for example." (Joan Kagezi, Head of Prosecution at the International Crimes Division of the High Court)
“For the first time, War Victims are brought together and given platform to put forward their voices and concern. Victims need to speak for themselves so that their needs and views are not misrepresented." Victoria Nyanjura, one of the former Aboke Girl, who was abducted and spent eight years in LRA captivity.
“War made me blind, I lost five family members including my wife, properties looted and burnt. Our government should now ensure we get reparation, we need support and must ensure Uganda never go through war again." Sabiti Lubwama, representative of the war victims from Luwero district.
“The National War Victims Conference has brought victims from Uganda and other African countries. This means we are not alone, we must reconcile and health together as a country and as a continent." Nbyomugyenyi Portal, a survivor of Uganda Technical College, Kicwamba,
“I deeply regret that the current Amnesty Act has not focused on victims. You cannot talk about reconciliation if you do not take into account the needs of victims, I want to see an Independent and well-funded body to look at writing a new legislative bill which would include conditions for amnesties - like truth telling, provide accountability and protect the rights of victims. Justice Onega Chairman Amnesty Commission Uganda
"In Uganda, the Trust Fund for Victims has a limited mandate to support only victims of LRA atrocities, as only the LRA situation was referred to the ICC. The Trust Fund for Victims operates within the realm of the Rome Statute. We operate in DRC and Uganda and do the best we can. We will be revisiting the situation in CAR and we hope to initiate an assessment in Ivory Coast."
(Scott Bartell, Trust Fund for Victims)
"A balance should be found then between the need for a comprehensive policy and responding to victims' urgent and immediate needs. This needs to be done with stakeholder participation and transparency, and must be executed in an unbiased way."
Cristian Correa, ICTJ, spoke about the practical implementation of Transitional Justice mechanisms
"If I walk around for 15 years with a wound in my arm, it won't get better until I open it and clean it up, then I can move on. The same goes with truth-telling, we can't continue with this cycle of violence and silence if we want to achieve a peaceful and just future."
Prof. Jeremy Sarkin, Member of UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
"It is not justice until victims have been redressed."
Juergen Schurr, REDRESS Trust)
For more information regarding the Conference, please contact us at
Ms. Spela Kunej email@example.com
Mr. Victor OCHEN firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell:+256 772 539 879
Mr. Denis Odwar email@example.com
Cell +256 772 324 752
Mr. Antonio Stomboli firstname.lastname@example.org
© African Youth Initiative Network - Uganda 2016