05 December 2008

LRA displace 70,000 in DR Congo

Kony chatting with Rwot Acana as rebels watch in their jungle hideout
GENEVA, Switzerland - The World Food Programme said on Wednesday it is extending its humanitarian operations across the eastern DR Congo, including areas hit by a conflict involving LRA rebels.

“WFP is concerned about a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Orientale Province, in the far north-east of the DRC (around Dungu), where rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have been attacking civilians and forcing thousands to flee their villages,” the organisation said in a statement.

“WFP is preparing to assist about 70,000 people who have been forced from their homes and live in fear of their children being abducted by the LRA,” it said.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced in the two decades of fighting between the LRA and the Ugandan Government.

The area around Dungu is extremely difficult to reach because of both insecurity and impassable roads, so the WFP said it was opening a strategic air bridge between Dungu and Entebbe in Uganda which it would also make available to other aid agencies.
“There is also a possibility of using air drops to provide much-needed food assistance,” the agency said.

Across the whole of the eastern DRC, including Nord-Kivu province which has seen heavy fighting between government troops and rebels led by ex-general Laurent Nkunda, the WFP said it has delivered food to about 564,000 people in November.

LRA leader Joseph Kony failed to turn up on Saturday to sign an overdue peace agreement aimed at ending the two-decade-long civil war in the north.
A signing ceremony was to be held in Ri-Kwangba, a jungle town in southern Sudan, for the LRA leader to ink the deal finalised in April and already signed by the Government.

Civil and religious leaders travelled to Ri-Kwangba hoping Kony would turn up to sign the peace agreement.

04 December 2008

Orombi concludes Northern tour

Bwola dancers at Bungatira in Ajulu Archdeaconry
Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi holding one of the many gifts during his pastoral visit to the Diocese

Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi has decried the rampant land wrangle in Northern Uganda. He said the problem is worst in Amuru district where he visited for three days. Delivering a sermon at Christ Church on Sunday, Archbishop Orombi appealed to the public to help political leaders find amicable solution to the land wrangles. He also caution the Acholi against selling the land saying the land has been given to them by God for them and future generations to live in. He said many people had learnt that the Acholi land is fertile and therefore need a piece of it. He warned the rich not to provoke the situation by wanting to buy big chunk of land. Archbishop Orombi concluded his pastoral tour of the Diocese of Northern Uganda on Sunday 30, December 2008

Meanwhile Archbishop Orombi has tasked the Northern Diocese Bishop Nelson Onono-Onweng to explain why he was never received with royal bwola dance during his visit except in Bungatira.
Archbishop Orombi said Acholi have the best traditional dance and music in Uganda and was surprised to note that he was not welcome by Bwola dance during his visit. Bishop Nelson referred the question to Archdeacons of Keyo Rev. J.P Nyeko and Rev. Oyet William Willies who explained that it is pagan way to use local dance and songs.
Archbishop Orombi who is a guitarist himself appealed to the clergy to unbind the Christians to let them use sanctified local songs and dances to worship the Lord.