Lango Web

The Independent Voice of Lango, Northern Uganda, since 2007

Lango Conference: A Fresh vision for Lango – An overview of the situation in Lango sub-region by Robert Olet Egwea, Secretary of Lango Association UK

 

 Mr Egwea argued the case for special recognition of the situation in Lango. He stated that the success story of Africa as Uganda is portrayed by some sections of the media especially in the west is not the case with northern and eastern Uganda, stressing that the situation in Lango is unique because of 5 main factors:

 

Victims of prolonged violence. The Langi have been on the receiving end of political violence for more than 3 decades and this includes: persecution by Idi Amin in the 1970s, cattle rustling by the Karamojong in the 1980s & 90s and LRA war for the last 20 years. Decades of violence had produced generations of traumatized people but without proper rehabilitation.

  

Misinformation: The sufferings of the Langi are less known because various media and even humanitarian agencies have been playing down the plight of the Langi and instead concentrated on Acholiland only.

 

Selective study. Most of the research on the effect of LRA war has been done in Acholiland and consequently most interventions to alleviate the sufferings focus on the area of study - Acholi.

 

Marginalized and demoralised people. Due to bad politics, Northern Uganda has remained impoverished and marginalised for several decades. The people are therefore demoralized.

 

Disempowered but proud people. Due to prolonged violence and marginalisation, the Langi have been disempowered, but they are still a proud people. They resent living on handouts and want to remain self reliant.

  

Recommendations from Mr Egwea’s speech

 

(a)       In light of the imbalance in humanitarian assistance by donors, and allocation of resources by Government of Uganda to northern Uganda, the Government and the international community are called upon to start paying equal attention to the problems of Lango sub-region, as they are doing in Acholi.

 

(b)       It is recommended that the government and donors provide sufficient support to community based organizations in Lango, as wells as NGOs, as a way of empowering the people and promoting self reliance.

 

(c)       Communication channels between Uganda government and the people of Lango should be  open. Elected leaders, regardless of their political affiliations are called upon to positively engage government regarding development.

 

(d)       It is also recommended that people of Lango use various channels to lobby government, the private sector and the international community for resources for development .

 

(e)       Economic development can best be attained when people are united, so people should unite behind their elected leaders, regardless of political affiliations, and collectively tackle developmental needs of the people, once elections are over.

 

(f)         The Government of Uganda should do more to ensure a balanced and equitable development of Lango sub-region in accordance with the constitution of Uganda.

 

(g)       It would be a big boost for the people of Lango if the Government could appoint more people from Lango to key positions in government as a way of building more confidence in the government.

 

(h)       The government is also called upon to ensure and facilitate a conducive environment for highly skilled manpower from Lango who are in the Diaspora to return home and contribute towards nation building.

 

(i)         People could also be empowered through better information access, microfinance, capacity building, and other initiatives that actually bring the people closer to the government.

 

(j)         On education, the Government of Uganda should look into the possibility of establishing a university in Lango to cater for the ever growing need for affordable higher education in the sub-region. The quality of UPE needs improving by building more classrooms, training and employing more teachers and giving teachers better pay.

 

(k)       In order to create better awareness about the situation in Lango, more research should be done in Lango regarding various problem areas. This should then be widely publicised within Uganda and more importantly amongst donor communities.

 

(l)         With regards to the peace talks, Lango Diaspora has never been consulted. It is therefore recommended that the Government of Uganda and the LRA seek the views of the Langi in the Diaspora as is being done for other communities from the affected regions. This will ensure that no stakeholder is left out.

 

(m)     The people returning from IDP camps should be provided with facilities that can enable them to become self reliant,  instead of depending on handouts, such as hoes, ploughs, oxen and tractors. 

 

(n)       Since some of the impediments to development are found in people’s attitude and relationships towards each other, it is recommended that the people of Lango develop a new approach, summarized as follows: compromise not confrontation; positive engagement not passive resistance; innovation not stagnation; self reliance not dependency; productivity not redundancy; mutual support not jealousy; good neighborliness not hostility. This new approach should be inculcated into the people right from the grassroots through systematic sensitisation.       

NOTE EN TEKO


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