When leaders from government, business, and civil society met on 23 September 2019 to announce potentially far-reaching steps to confront climate change at the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York, Refugee Law Project (RLP) had just completed its 9th Institute for African Transitional Justice (IATJ) under the theme: ‘Environmental Destruction: The Transitional Justice Issue of the Future?’.
Every 30th August is commemorated as the International Day of the Disappeared. In the wake of conflict or other situation of human rights violations the fate of many remains a mystery; thousands of individuals and families are unaware of the fate of their loved ones; are they still alive or have they died as a result of war or conflicts?
Uganda is not without its fair share of enforced disappearances of people from Independence to date. Indeed, nearly every part of Uganda has suffered conflicts which have led to thousands of missing persons.
What is it like now for Northern Uganda, a mass crime scene for over two decades during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebellion? This is a region that was once considered a field of landmines, a “no-go zone”, a habitat for combatants where the bushes were all claimed by the rebels as their homes and lodges. No single civilian was allowed to hide, spend a night or take refuge there unless s/he was capable of paying for lodging there. Payment was by way of torture, rape, abduction, forceful conscription, or killing. The cry for protection, peace and healing were a daily rhetoric.
Every 18th May is celebrated globally as the International Museums Day (IMD), a day to reflect on and celebrate the role of museums in serving society as educational and remembrance platforms for matters of direct concern to society. IMD 2019 was held under the global theme: “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition”.
According to the Statutes of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), adopted by the 22nd General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, on 24th August 2007, “a Museum is a ‘Non-Profit, Permanent Institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purpose of education, study and enjoyment.”
Uganda as a country has close to twenty-five (25) private community museums spread across the country. These provide spaces for people to interact, network and learn from the curated objects/materials.
In the spirit of promoting the ‘Truth’, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) nine years ago in 2010 proclaimed 24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. This date was chosen because it was the day on which Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador, was assassinated in 1980 for his active engagement in denouncing violations of the human rights of highly vulnerable individuals. The purpose of the Day is to: Honour the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice; Pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all; Recognize, in particular, the important work and values of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, of El Salvador, for defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposition to all forms of violence.
The UN Environment’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (2019) report published in time for the recent Fourth United Nations Environmental Assembly, calls on decision makers to take immediate action to address pressing environmental issues to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as well as other Internationally Agreed Environment Goals, such as the Paris Agreement.
By Okot Benard Kasozi (Published 11th September 2018)
In the course of a recovery monitoring visit in Pader District, a gunshot survivor rehabilitated by Refugee Law Project with funding support from the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) remarked that “If any future violent war erupts again in northern Uganda, I pray that it comes when I am dead”
By Francis Nono (Published 22nd June 2018)
As northern Uganda marks 12 years of relative peace through the Juba Peace Initiatives, we should be singing about the contributions of key local peace icons and personalities who contributed to this remarkable attainment.
By Decimon Anywar (Published 23rd March 2018)
This week, from 17-23 March 2018, Uganda held its first ever Uganda Water and Environment Week, timed to coincide with International Day of Forests (21st March), World Water Day (22nd March) and World Meteorological Day (23rd March). It is important that in the course of this week we were able to reflect on the complex relationships and interactions between the environment and forced migration.