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Ceasefire Allows Night Commuters to Live Freely


With relative peace in the Acholi district of northern Uganda, life is slowly returning to normal.

Night commuters, young people from rural areas who travel to various towns to avoid groups of rebels, have disappeared from Gulu. Many night commuters were survivors of the infamous rebel attack on Barlonyor Camp for internally displaced persons. Recently, they have sought better ways to improve their grim situation.

Previously, children who lost their parents in rebel attacks avoided assault by trekking to the center of town. Now they have formed an association, the “Ogur (the Assembly)” Youth Drama Club. Additionally, some of them have been trained for jobs in the employment sector.

“Through drama we want to leave a historical legacy to the suffering of northern Uganda. We want to leave it as a history, how the northern region has been suffering. The youth here at least we want them to archive some knowledge. Like we have some members like 16 who have joined YCC vocational school. Most of them their parents died so they do not have money to pay their school fees,” one youth says.

Ronald Ogwang is the youth Drama club chairman. He explains that the club has produced a play called “A Time to Remember.” It reflects on the horrors and impact of the February 21st 2004 Barlonyo massacre, in which, more than 250 people were killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

“After this attack most of us were left shaken and cold; we resorted to moving to trading centers in the evenings where we spent the night because we kept anticipating the rebels would return,” he said.

The current peaceful atmosphere has encouraged the growth of groups like these and has helped stabilize life in northern Uganda. However, through the drama program, the effects of the LRA attacks will not be forgotten in hopes that future generations will learn about the negative impact of war.

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