Over 750 victims and relatives of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony are now threatening to sue the government over the delay in receiving compensation for his crimes, New Vision reported Thursday.
According to the Ugandan Daily, 759 victims of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels sent a letter last month to the Ugandan Attorney General stating their intention to sue the government over delayed compensation.
The letter was served by the Arua District Kony War Victims Association, an umbrella organization for victims of Kony’s insurgence. The association accuses the Ugandan government of failure to provide them with adequate security and protection from the LRA and seeks around 99 billion Ugandan shillings ($27 million) as compensation for the lives and property lost.
The association’s chairman, Alex Matua, 55, said they were now resorting to legal action after 12 years without receiving any justice for Kony’s crimes. Matua is personally suing for 600 million Ugandan shillings ($160,000) for his lost assets.
“When Simon Ejua, the Vurra MP and state minister for transport, promised to help us, I gave him all the documents,” he told the local media outlet. “He took me to Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, the general duties minister in the Office of the Prime Minister at the time. He promised to assess our payment. However, up to now, nothing has been done.”
“When President Yoweri Museveni was campaigning in Arua, he also asked Aridru Ajedra, the state minister for finance, about the issue,” he added. “But, that too, did not yield any results.”
Many of the other victims of Kony’s campaigns are currently struggling to survive having seen their livelihoods destroyed by the violence. One example is that of Harriet Opisia, 31, a daughter of a victim who was forced to give up her education in order to look after her eight siblings.
“My mother has cancer and she cannot be helped,” she said. “I have many siblings to look after, but it is difficult as I have no source of income. I also depend on my husband for support.”
The name Joseph Kony rose to international prominence in 2012 following the release of director Jason Russell’s short documentary film Kony 2012, which sought to make him a globally known fugitive to help secure his arrest.
Although the campaign was highly successful in that it received hundreds of millions of views and led to a resolution from the United States Senate to send troops into the region, it ultimately failed in its principal aim, given that as of 2020, Kony remains at large. However, the LRA is no longer deemed to be a significant security threat.