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Acholi Elders Seek Meeting with President Museveni for Reconciliation

acholi elders seek meeting with president museveni for reconciliation
acholi elders seek meeting with president museveni for reconciliation
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A group of Acholi elders is requesting a meeting with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni after he publicly acknowledged mistakes made by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government in their region. Earlier this month, during an event organized by his daughter Patience Rwabwogo, President Museveni asked the Acholi people for forgiveness for past mistakes committed by the NRM.

He stated, “As the top leaders of the movement, we are here to take full responsibility for all the mistakes that were made at all various levels, forgive our failures, and the failures and mistakes of leaders we entrusted with various responsibilities throughout this sub-region.”

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Chigamoi praised the President’s acknowledgment of past mistakes and likened it to the Acholi traditional justice system, where the head of a family takes responsibility for their children’s mistakes, even if they were not directly involved in them. In light of this, Acholi leaders have asked Justice Owiny-Dollo to lead them in a round table discussion with the President regarding his remarks on forgiveness and taking responsibility for past NRM government mistakes.

Justice Owiny-Dollo emphasized the importance of an honest conversation about peace building in the Acholi Sub-region without resorting to further conflict. This comes after political and cultural leaders in the region praised President Museveni’s efforts to foster reconciliation and peace-building between the government and the region’s inhabitants.

Rwot Yusuf Adek, the Pageya Clan Chief, highlighted that past presidents had failed to honor Brig. Gen Pierino Okoya with a proper reburial, unlike President Museveni. He mentioned that the region has been longing for healing from the crimes committed against its people and believes that the President’s actions are a step toward achieving that healing.

President Museveni did not immediately respond to the Acholi elders’ request during his Friday address but acknowledged the information shared by Justice Owiny-Dollo. Museveni also commented on Brig. Okoya’s murder, noting that those responsible had not succeeded in life and had faced consequences for their actions. He commended Brig. Okoya’s contributions to the country and described him as a person with great potential.

Brig. Okoya and his wife, Akello, were granted a state reburial with an 11-gun salute at their ancestral home in Bongo-tyet village, Palaro Sub-County, Gulu District, almost 53 years after their tragic murder.