Grenade explosion victims in Lamwo accuse UPDF of neglecting them

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Grenade explosion victims in Lamwo accuse UPDF of neglecting them. Whisper Eye Reports

Parents of children who were injured in a grenade explosion in Abuka village in Palabek Gem Sub-county in Lamwo district have accused the army of neglect.

Two children died last month in a grenade explosion while two others sustained severe body injuries. The surviving children: eight-year-old Sunday Acellam and 11-year-old Okeny have since been left with life-changing body injuries.

But nearly a month after the incident, the parents of the victims say they haven’t received any report from security representatives in the district and the army. 

Denis Onen, a resident of Abuka village lost a son in the explosion while another is currently fighting for his life at home after being discharged two days ago from the hospital. His son survived with broken limbs and left hand while the grenade splinters are still stuck in his intestines.

one of the victims of the Lamwo Grenade Explosion at St Joseph’s Hospital Kitgum.

Onen says that he had expected the army to intervene in their plight since his innocent children were hit by war materials but to his surprise, none has shown up. 

Onen notes that he has since the incident single-handedly footed burial expenses and medical bills amounting to more than three million shillings at St Joseph’s Hospital Kitgum.

He says his son who has been undergoing treatment at the facility is still in dire pain and casts doubts of his full recovery to embark on studying again this year in primary two.

Translation“…I never expected this to happen, but as I speak, not even a single local leader has come to check on us. I thought the government would help because initially, they helped in transporting the victims to hospital but for now, all the expenses have been on my shoulder…”

He called on the army leadership to avail them with a report of their investigation and commitment towards helping the aggrieved family currently struggling to take care of the injured children.

Rose Aryemo Oola a mother to another victim of the grenade explosion says the family has now run out of money to sustain medical bills.

Aryemo equally lost a son while another one was hospitalized for the last four weeks before being discharged early this week. Like Onen, Aryemo has tasked the army to immediately intervene in rescuing the children whose lives have been affected by remnants of uncollected explosives.

The 5th Infantry Division Commander Brig William Bainomugisha says that although the army did an investigation into the explosion, their personnel never linked up with the affected families after the incident.

Brig Bainomugisha says the army is committed to supporting the injured children towards their recovery but maintained that it’s a generous support part of their responsibility, not compensation. He says the army will liaise with the families of the affected children for better medical support.

He, however, rubbished allegations that the army failed to protect the children lives from dangerous explosives arguing that the region is littered with several explosives that are hard to trace. 

“It was not our mistake because the LRA rebels were everywhere and they left these explosives in the areas they camped in or fought. We are however in the process of launching mass de-mining in areas with UXO’s,” Says Brig Bainomugisha.

More than 15 years since the guns fell silent following the two decades LRA conflict in Acholi, unexploded ordinances intentionally planted or left during fights between LRA and UPDF in the region continue to poses threats to the smooth recovery of locals. Hundreds have been left with permanent physical injuries and others died from such explosives in the region over the years.


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