The ‘Be Heard’ (Uganda) project – a Hague Justice Portal initiative #BeHeardUganda #MyStory
The Be Heard (Uganda) project is a restorative and transitional justice initiative, designed to give a voice to victims of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) atrocities in Northern, Eastern and West-Nile Uganda. There are two components to this work:
- to allow victims to speak up and be heard, and ensure their stories are not lost in history; and
- to bridge the cultural divide now being experienced by those held in captivity for years by providing an avenue to rebuild tradition between the generations.
Despite limited prosecutions of crimes committed by the LRA to date (noting that LRA leader Joseph Kony is still at large), there are many stories which will never reach a courtroom and many victims who feel left out of the justice process. It is those stories the Be Heard (Uganda) project is capturing.
The purpose is restorative, reparative and reconciliatory for the people most affected. Particular focus is given to those victims who were held in captivity as child soldiers, ‘wives’ or servants of the LRA militia, some of whom spent over a decade in captivity, bearing children.
Double-victimisation is now apparent and a real issue, resulting in lost cultural identity, a ‘lost generation’ amongst those now re-integrating into the villages and families from whom they were taken by the LRA. The Be Heard (Uganda) project will assist in rebuilding tradition and culture, by facilitating conversations and education between village elders, religious, cultural leaders and the returned former LRA captives.