In 2003, the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacked Oyutu-abeno village Angoltok parish in Abako sub-county where they killed 52 villagers.
The victims including children were hacked with machetes and burnt alive inside their huts while others were shot as they fled. This forced the remaining community members to pitch camp at Alanyi primary school for fear of another attack.
There returned to their homes in 2006 when they were sure of peace and stability. Sitting at Ikuluwii trading center is a monument bearing the names of the victims where for some years memorial prayers for the souls of the departed were held.
However, the prayers have since stopped. The site is not recognized by the government unlike other massacre sites like Abia in Alebtong, Abok in Oyam and Barlonyo in Lira district, which are recognized and celebrated annually.
Most community members say the continued silence from the government is unfair considering the fact that Abako was the first sub-county in Lango to experience such killings by the rebels.
Mary Ogei, a resident of Oyutu-abeno village who lost her husband and two children that day wants the government to re-instate the annual prayer at the site to commemorate the day as well as recognize it like it is being done in other areas.
Caesar Bete, another resident of the area who was left as an orphan after the massacre is disappointed that not a single school be it secondary or technical has been built to help the children whose parents died access education unlike in some areas which have such facilities.
Geoffrey Ouni, the area LCII chairperson wants the government to take over Awekiparo community school and develop it to help the orphans who cannot attain formal education from private schools, adding that the area is lagging behind without a school, health facility and good road network.
John Odongo, the Abako LC 3 chairperson, says that all their attempts to bring support to the area have been futile. According to him, government officials including ministers visited the area in the past but that is where it ended.
Odongo wants the government to at least construct a school and a health centre III in memory of the people who were killed and to help the community members who now go for more than 10kms to access a government health facility.
Having happened in October 2003, which makes it the first horrified killing by the LRA rebels in the Lango sub-region because, in the subsequent year, three separate massacres were carried out at Abia in Alebtong district, Barlonyo in Lira district and Abok in Oyam District. The government has since shown interest in turning Barlonyo into a tourist site while leaders from both Abia and Abok advocate for the same.
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