You could say death has knocked on Rose Ongom’s door, twice. And twice, she has been lucky. Last Saturday, Ongom’s daughter survived being sacrificed, after she was snatched from among her friends as they were collecting water in a nearby well in Gulu Municipality.
It was at 11am that the six-year-old, Lilly Adong was kidnapped. After she heard that her child was missing, Ongom was prompted to send boda boda cyclists as far as Pabbo Sub-county in Amuru District in search of the missing child. The journey is 25 kilometres.
It was only at 6pm that the minor was returned, terrified and crying, to the very spot where she was snatched by a young woman. According to her parents, Adong said she was taken to a house where she saw another young boy, and later to a forest. They believe she was brought back because she had pierced ears.
The suspect is currently being held at Aywee Police Post. She claims that she is 15 years old and has told the police that the girl clung onto her as she was passing by but Ongom disputes her account. “My daughter has never cried for anybody,” she argued. This is the second time this family is falling prey to kidnappers. In November last year, her 12-year-old daughter Sunday Akao, was kidnapped while playing in her school compound and taken to a nearby forest.
Off the hook
However, the two kidnappers reportedly started disagreeing when they realised that she had pierced ears. She escaped in the confusion but recounted seeing three headless bodies of children where she was taken.
There has been an outcry from the residents about these cases.
Juliet Adoch of Restore Child Rescue Team said the police were not taking the increasing cases, especially in Aywee and Layibi sub-wards in Gulu Municipality seriously. “For instance, when we reported what the 12-year-old girl narrated, we went to the police to come with us to the place but they refused,” she said.
The deputy officer in-charge of Aywee Police Post, Mr George Willy Rachkara, confirmed the prevalence of the cases, but blames some wrong elements in Lira District, whom he says use people in Gulu to carry out the act.