ACHOLI REGION: Paramount Chief of Acholi David Onen Acana II says that reconciliation is a big step toward repairing relationships that have been broken for a long time in Uganda.
Rwot Acana says there is no doubt that past conflicts among the Luo sub-ethnic tribes, some of which claimed the lives of innocent people, have continued to negatively impact the relationships of the Luo people.
He notes that the disunity brought about by past conflicts can only be mended if the Luo sub-ethnic tribes start engaging each other and opening up about the past.
Rwot Acana was speaking on Friday at a consultative meeting and the launch of the Luo Foundation, a non-political and not-for-profit umbrella organization bringing together all the Luo sub-ethnic tribes in Gulu City.
An organization called the Luo Foundation was set up and registered in Canada in 2019. Its goal is to bring together all Luo sub-tribes from Acholi and Jonam to celebrate, nurture, and preserve Luo culture and art.
People who want to bring the Luo people together need to look back at the history of the Luo sub-ethnic tribes, says Acana. This will make it easier for people who have been apart for a long time to get back together.
He says despite long years of living in different localities, the Luo people still share a lot more in common, ranging from food, language, songs, and dances, an identity he says will speed up their reintegration.
As Prime Minister Ker Kwaro Lango said, reconciling the different Luo tribes in the country is the best way to get them to work together.
He says there is a need to revisit the past history of the Luo people, citing the Acholi, Alur, and Lango to understand whether there are hidden resentments that can foil reintegration.
Dr. Olara Otunu, who was a keynote speaker at the launch, says it is important to address conflicts among the Luo people following incidences that transpired both recently and during historical times.
He used the example of the Acholi and Lango conflict, which needs to be dealt with in order for healing and peaceful reintegration to happen.
He also argued that the historic conflicts between Labongo and Gipir that gave birth to the tension between the Jonam people across the River Nile and the Acholi people haven’t been resolved to date.
In an interview, Bernard Loum, the coordinator of the Luo Foundation Uganda Chapter, told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the idea behind the foundation is to galvanize support for the different Luo sub-ethnic tribes.
He says the foundation will help to harness the unique and matching identity of the Luo to address challenges facing the various sub-ethnic groups within the country, celebrate the culture and strengthen unity.
It was a big event for cultural leaders from Lango, Alur, and Tieng Adhola to show up.