Leaders from northern Uganda have asked government to expedite the implementation process of the transitional justice policy, saying it is the only plan that will move people of northern Uganda from recovery stage to development.
The transitional justice policy is a government overreaching framework designed to address justice, accountability and reconciliation needs of post-conflict Uganda.
Speaking at a national dialogue on fast-tracking implementation of the policy in northern Uganda in Kampala on Friday, Mr Ambrose Olaa, the Acholi Cultural Institution prime minister, said they want the policy to be passed soon because it will help them mitigate the impacts of conflicts and give them a framework upon which they can deal with future conflicts.
“The policy is urgently needed because government and several agencies have deployed a lot of resources but they have failed because people are stack in recovery process,” he said
Mr Olaa added that war in northern Uganda went on for more than 20 years and this created significant disruptions in the communities and, therefore, it requires different mechanisms to address what happened.
“The silence of the guns did not necessary mean we resolved everything. In many cases, transitional justice involves how you move people from that state of where they were facing violence and this comes in with so many elements of injustices. They need a state where they can secure accountability and then justice for what happened in their lives,” he said.
The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Ms Betty Aol Ochan, said the policy will also look outside the box and move beyond addressing issues of harmony, compensation, confession and relationship bond among families.
“We want the elderly, youth, people with disabilities (PWDs) and women to be considered because land rights are still a challenge in northern Uganda. This is a big problem,” she said.
Ms Aol added that the transitional justice policy is a good intervention to enable women get justice because many women do not have money to hire lawyers.
“Due to several wars, women, girls and PWDs were the most affected,” she said.
The State Minister for Northern Uganda, Ms Grace Kwiyucwinyi, said this policy is about justice and when people are given justice, they feel confident and relieved of what they went through.
“The transitional justice policy is one of the action points which have been identified that can promote healing to Ugandans who have experienced confits. This policy involves leaders taking responsibility and sensitising people so that they can heal,” she explained.
Ms Kwiyucwinyi added that the policy was passed by Parliament, but it is yet to be presented to Cabinet for discussion.
The transitional justice policy provides a holistic intervention to achieving lasting peace in a country whose history has been marred by political and constitutional instability.