Family member of a missing person participating in
‘Remembering the Missing’ event organized in Kitgum,
Northern Uganda© ICRC, Camilla Matteucci
Northern Uganda is still coming to terms with its painful past. Many families live with the uncertainty of not knowing the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones. This year, the ICRC held a number of events to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared in Kitgum, Northern Uganda.
The high turnout of families of missing persons, local government officials, leaders from local organizations and the general public is indicative not only of a community who recognizes the need to address the legacies of its turbulent and painful past, but also of one that seeks to keep the memory alive of those that went missing during nearly two decades of conflict.
For many people in Kitgum, this day served as an important learning opportunity, as many were unaware of the difficulties facing families of missing people. Some were even surprised to realize the impact of disappearance among their friends and neighbors.
The following series of photos illustrate the numerous activities which were organized to mark the day.
These include a march by affected families around town, an exhibition of photos and items related to disappearances during the war in Northern Uganda organized by the Refugee Law Project, speeches, songs composed by local musicians John Oweka and Romeo Odong on the issue of disappearance, testimonies from families, a presentation on the ICRC’s work, a candle lighting ceremony and the screening of ICRC’s film "A Life on Hold" and Refugee Law Project’s film, "Parenting the Missing".