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Hieronder vindt u de originele teksten van Ajwer Norman Ocen.

De oorspronkelijke bundel heet Forceful Arrivals en bestaat uit meer dan honderd gedichten voorafgegaan door een uitgebreide inleiding.
In de in Nederland uitgegeven bundel hebben we een selectie gemaakt waarbij 18 gedichten zijn gebruikt. De inleidende teksten zijn aanzienlijk ingekort.
Hier vindt u de originele inleiding.

Uganda’s post-independence has been defined by numerous wars and conflicts though
victims do not share the perpetrators, they share ordeal and pain. The community
affected has continued to suffer from object poverty, physcological torture, and
memories of forced recruitments or abductions, sexual slavery, being forced to injure or
kill another person, rape and massacre. And the time has come for justice to prevail.
First of all for these to come to reality we must have the element of TRUST, this is
something that is true in accordance with reality. You should not fear anyone, with the
past, it’s time to get out of frustration and heal the country in general. Truth telling is
not all about forgiveness.
The war was one of the most devastating one especially in the districts of Gulu, Kitgum,
Lira, Apac, Arua, Adjumani and Moyo
The direct consequences of the conflicts have included loss of life, torture, mutilations,
abduction, looting and loss of property, massive displacement of people into towns and
camps. Up to now violence has become the daily reality for many, even children have
experienced skills of killing, and watching and talking about violence has become
normal. Children have hardly had any long spell of peace. The LRA war culminated
several acts where you would fight against someone dear to you. Mistrust was common
complains in the North and there are many unresolved conflicts that continued to fan
the flame of discord. Almost all groups in society of the North were vulnerable. Children
and adolescent have been abducted and neglected, Women have been displaced,
divorced and rapped, Elderly have been neglected and abused and men have become
disillusioned and frustrated by poverty, and their inability to care for their families, and
land wrangles is still at its pitch. People still stand in fear of misery and agony, many
people are not at peace in the Northern region. They are stressed emotionally. There is
chronic and wide feeling that one day a conflict may again arise. People are overcome
by worries, memories hyper-vigilance, fears, and anxiety and up to-date some complain
of mental confusion and difficulty focusing on every day’s tasks. Many people are
unprotected, trapped, overwhelmed and depressed by the war situation. They feel
deeply helpless and are sometimes driven to commit suicide or resort to alcoholism and
drug abuse. Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem are common. People in the
Northern region are so pessimistic about their future and life in general. They have lost
hope and feel that the war situations are endless. Some have in them retained
substances like sharpnels and bullets and others continues to face stigmatization while
others are physically disfigured due to burn scars and contracture and people still live
life amidst pain and economic setback.


In the late 1987 to early 1988, a resistance movement led by Alice Auma Lakwena was
formed. Lakwena did not rebel much on the central government, her people carried
inferior weapons like sticks, catapult and stones. Lakwena believed that she was
inspired and driven by the Holy Spirit of God to lead and fight for her people. Lakwena
showed herself as a prophetess who received information and directives from God. She
percepted a belief that the people of Acholi and Lango could defeat the government in
power, by then Museveni’s government.
She advised that her followers should smear themselves with sheanut oil ‘’moo yao” as
these would make their bodies bullet proof, they were also encouraged never to take
cover when in the battle field and they should never kill snakes or bees. After the exile
of Lakwena, Kony took over the rebellion and he became possessed by the Holy Spirit
and gained reputations attracting many followers.
On the 1stApril 1987, Kony left their home in Odek, recruited his followers and raided
Gulu town. These war became the soundest one in Northern Uganda which called for
the intervention of the government in power to end it. Kony convinced his followers
that he led basing on the Ten Commandments.
In March 1991, the Ugandan government army, NRA, started operation North which
aimed at destroying the LRA these also led to the formation of a group of people called
“Arrow boys” and “Amuka” these angered Joseph Kony so much which made him feel
unwanted in the society
In 1990, Joseph Kony received support from the government of Sudan and these
strengthened him and his army which was rebelling against the government of NRA.The
LRA lodged a strong fight against the Ugandan government which led to mass
destruction of property, killing torture and kidnaping of school going children these
included 139 school girls of St. Mary’s girls school Aboke in 1996,abduction of hundreds
of villagers in Atiak in 1995,the government had to create “protected camps” beginning
from 1996 in abid to protect her people.
In 2002, the NRA, in their new name Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) launched
another new strategy called Operation Iron Fist against the LRA bases in South Sudan, in
retaliation, the LRA, attacked the refugee camp in the Eastern Equatorial in South Sudan
brutally killing dozens of civilians.

1. Joseph Kony
2. Vincent Otti.
3. Raska Lukwia (RIP)
4. Okot Odhiambo (RIP)
5. Caesar Achellam
6. Odong Latek (RIP)
7. Alphonse Lamola
8. Nixman Oryanga (RIP)

I am so indebted to the following people whose efforts gave me courage and strength to
write this book, without them none of these pieces of articles would become realities. I
am very thankful to Mr. Ogwang Innocent Ford and Mr. Okumu Moses for their
wonderful work as the editors which made the work in this manuscript easy to read. To
Tony O’Nume a.k.a Okello Achieng, utmost Kudos for painstaking, yet near-divine
Patience for the excellent proof-reading and final panel-beating with the expert finesse
and touch of professional elegance.
I am deeply thankful to Mr. Sedrick Vincent Ebong Eyit who stood by my side giving
me advice and encouraging me to explore my fantasies. May God reward you
I am so grateful to Mr. Sam Atul Manager of Radio Unity words can’t express my
appreciation for your efforts in my carrier, Mr. Charles Odongo(CHAKO) thanks for the
journey you led head for me and all the staffs of Unity FM, thank you for all your love,
time and devotions may God bless you
I would love to extend my acknowledgement to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Enang
Mike Ogwang, the family of Mrs. Lydia Ogwal and the family of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Bua
of Rock OF Ages general printers, Miss Abalo Vivian who gave me hopes to move on
with my ambitions and aim higher
Outmost appreciation goes to all the residents of Abia, Barlonyo, Atiak, Omot and
Lukodi for giving me the best hospitality and honest response as I was collecting the
possible data for the book may God heal your hearts
Lastly to my parents Mr. Joseph Patrick Ochen and Mrs. Christine Ochen, you are
such darlings in these cause, you stood by my side and fought for me, it’s your relentless
efforts which made this book come out. I send my outmost apologies to all those people
whose names have not included but assisted me in the data collection, printing
designing the illustrations on the book, Thanks for your love.

I dedicate to all the victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army (L.R.A) in the Northern region
of Uganda and Central African Republic (CAR), May God give you heart to forget of the
past and start a new life with greater hopes
To my grandfather the Late Capt. John Wesley Ochen who was killed by the soldiers of
Amin, may your Soul Rest In peace.


Dear participants of National War Victims Conference, I send you my warmest greetings
from Cape Town. How I wish I could have been with you in person as you gather in
Kampala to develop a road map for successful transitional justice process in Uganda.
I am deeply honored to have been asked by the conference facilitator to join you at this
crucial moment in Uganda’s history. Transitional Justice promises a better future, but in
order to create better future we must understand our past. Uganda has had a complex
history of conflict, beginning in the colonial era, the period since independence in 1962,
has been marked by intermittent civil disagreement, skirmishes and wars. When people
sit down for an argument to plot a peaceful prosperous future together the golden rule
is for all to accept and share responsibilities for the agonies of the past. Truth is an
essential ingredient of reconciliation and recovery. A house built on untrue foundation
will inevitably fall. It’s far easier to accept responsibilities ourselves. But sometimes we
have to be bigger than ourselves. Conflicts are a much broader term than the sound of
gunfire and bombs. Instead of regarding those of different ethnicity or political
perspective as our sisters and brothers, we came to regard them as others, Guns and
machetes flow.
When it came to healing South Africa, following our first democratic election, we
discovered a power of simple human ingredients we all possess, magnamanity. It was
embodied in our new president Nelson Mandela, newly elected government established
a truth and reconciliation commission as a mechanism to overcome the horrors of the
past. Victims and perpetrators of human rights violation were invited to tell their stories
on public platform with perpetrators being granted amnesty in exchange for telling the
truth. It was a grueling process the truth is liberating, peace is liberating.
I often speak of a South African philosophy called Ubuntu it says “I am because you
are and you are because I am.” We are because of one another. Dear people of Uganda,
you cannot choose your sibling nor can you chase them away. We are all brothers and
sisters of one family, Gods family.
Finally young people, many of you were born into conflict and not told who your
friends and enemies are or should be. But you are the leadership in waiting you have
the ability to bridge the violent past a prosperous future, we look to you as generation
of peace. Our children will one day marry someone my generation might have regarded
as an enemy. There is much reason for hope. God bless you.