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Displaced in Northern Uganda Begin Returning Home


With the prospects of peace in northern Uganda comes a new government effort to deal with millions of people who’ve been displaced by war.

One camp for internally displaced people is located in Gulu. Reporter Tolit Olwor-Atiya is there and spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the atmosphere in the camp.

“Glulu has been a rather sleepy town given the war that has been going on. And in the last couple of months, ever since the discussions on peace talks began, there has been a lot of activity here. It has only climaxed in the last two or three days when the government agencies that are responsible to try and decongest the camp have gone into action – and then also another exercise to register all the internally displaced people into a national government roster to allow them to be reached with humanitarian interventions has attracted a lot of activity,” he says.

The displaced for the most part are being brought back to their hometowns and villages.

Asked about the children of Gulu, who were under threat of abduction by Lords Resistance Army rebels, Olwor-Atiya says, “There are plenty of children here…. I’ve seen so many of them. Many of them look sick. Mothers are clutched (sic) with children on their backs, children who are particularly malnourished. And the numbers are so big.”

A local official there say children make up a majority of the population in the Gulu region.

He says the people are both optimistic and suspicious about the peace talks after 20 years of war.