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Teso war claimants to form new multipurpose cooperative union

SOROTI, May 9, 2024 – The Chairman for Teso war claimants, Julius Ocen says as they prepare to receive their war loss compensation money from the central government, plans are underway to revive their cooperative societies, and form Teso Kere Multipurpose Cooperative Union in a bid to fight household poverty.

Over 3,000 war claimants in the Teso Sub-region are claiming compensation from government under their umbrella, Teso War Victims Association.

While addressing fellow war claimants in Soroti City recently, Ocen said that once they receive the money it should be directed to viable activities that will continue to generate income for their families.

“We found out that starting a cooperative society would be a great idea to continue generating incomes in our homes,” Ocen said.

He said that traditionally the Iteso community embodies the cooperative movement in their blood, adding that cooperatives play a key role in socio-economic transformation of communities.

“Teso was well known for cooperatives that helped the region to educate its children and therefore forming a new union [Teso Kere Multipurpose Cooperative Union] will help us revive the glory of Teso,” he added.

He further said the planned cooperative union will bring together all the people living in Teso Sub-region with one aim of fighting poverty in the households.

Patrick Elobu, the Communications Officer, Teso War Victims Association encouraged the members to form cooperatives, saying cooperatives offer many advantages to members.

He said through cooperatives, farmers are able to access improved seeds, better markets, financial support, and advanced technology among others.

Elobu also cautioned those to receive war loss compensation money to avoid people who are likely to misadvise them. He encouraged them to put the money into good use, especially investing it in income generating activities.

“Do not accept anyone to misguide you. Now that the money is about to come, we need to invest in meaningful projects,” he said.


In April this year, Members of Parliament put government to task over failure to compensate persons affected by conflict and war in Uganda.

Jonathan Ebwalu, the MP representing Soroti West Division alluded to an order by the Soroti High Court that government must pay compensation to over 3,000 Teso war claimants who lost lives, animals and property between 1986 and 1994 and the 2003 Lord’s Resistance Army [LRA] insurgency.

“In the October 2023 ruling, court gave government six months within which to pay the people of Teso but nothing has been paid up to now. Government should tell us what plans they have to compensate the people of Teso, Acholi, Lango and West Nile,” said Ebwalu, during the plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa on April2, 2024.

In September 2022, while appearing before the Government Assurances Committee of Parliament, the Deputy Attorney General, Jackson Kafuuzi, said that government at the time required Shs 2 trillion to compensate victims of wars and insurgencies in Northern and Eastern Uganda, West Nile and the Elgon sub-regions.

He told MPs at the time, that by the end of the 2021/2022 financial year, 30,339 out of 38,225 submissions from the districts had been reviewed, and 20,727 of them paid a total sum of Shs 50 billion.

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