Alur in DRC, Uganda finally bury the hatchet over 100 years later

Tuesday October 30 2012

Traditional Alur dancers welcome their leaders at the event that marked the reconciliation between the Alur communities living in West Nile, Uganda and DR Congo.

Traditional Alur dancers welcome their leaders at the event that marked the reconciliation between the Alur communities living in West Nile, Uganda and DR Congo. The woes between the two started in 1789 after the killing of the Alur leader in DR Congo. PHOTO BY FELIX WAROM OKELLO 

By FELIX WAROM OKELLO

West Nile

The Alur communities in Uganda and DR Congo held a landmark reconciliation to settle the long-standing disunity dating back to the wars between 1789 and 1902.

Hundreds of Alur gathered at the historical Anzindah site in Mahagi District in DR Congo to witness rituals performed to reconcile the two communities.

The chiefs from Alur Kingdom from Uganda and those from Panduru Community sacrificed a lamb in the middle of the road, where the Panduru chief was killed in 1789 during the tribal war.

The sacrificial lamb was divided into two, with a piece going to the Panduru while the other went to the Alur Kingdom.

The clan chiefs from the two countries then drunk water mixed with reeds and spat it out to signify the end of their bitter relationship. This war had brought about hatred among the people and caused retardation of development among the Alur communities in both countries.

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The minister of Culture in Alur Kingdom, Mr Marachtho Omirambe, said this ritual was meant to cement the relationship between the two communities. “We are all one, only separated by the colonial boundaries. In Alur culture, if two brothers kill themselves brutally, a lamb is slaughtered as a sign of peace to unite the children,” Mr Omirambe said.

The district commissioner for Mahagi, Mr Thumba Jalwiny, added that the two communities should not be disunited by the colonial boundaries. “We have the same culture and share names and a cultural heritage, so it is important we unite and develop the kingdom so that the two countries can live peacefully. This is a landmark event where we should forgive, forget and love each other,” Mr Jalwiny said.

The communities said the reconciliation took long because the people were still incensed by what happened years ago and did not fully commit themselves to reconciliation.

Rwoth Ubimu Valente Keruyoma of Uganda started the process but it stalled after his death in 2000. Later, his son, Rwoth Phillip Olarker Rauni III was enthroned and the process continued, culminating in the final reconciliation, 110 years later.

wokello@ug.nationmedia.com

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