Barlonyo To Become A Tourist Site


The site of the Barlonyo Massacre in Agweng Sub County, Lira District is to be developed into a tourist attraction. If this is to pass, this will become one of the dark tourism sites in Uganda where both locals and foreigners will learn about the disastrous effects of civil wars.

Located 26 kilometers North of Lira district, in Northern Uganda, Barlonyo hosted one of the largest camps for the Internally Displaced People who were affected by the Northern Uganda Civil War that ended in the early 2000s. It lies in the silent neighborhood of River Moroto. However, the serene setting of the area also holds horrid memories of the largest single massacres ever committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group that waged war in northern Uganda for more than two decades.

It is reported that the rebels under the command of Okot Odiambo, a then deputy to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Commander Joseph Kony, brutally killed more than 300 people in a space of three hours on the afternoon of February 21, 2004. They were burned alive inside their huts, hacked with machetes, stabbed with knives, clubbed with sticks and shot as they fled.Under instruction to kill every living thing, the rebels reportedly slit the bellies of pregnant women open and the fetus thrown into the fire.

Hundreds of others were abducted during the attack and taken into captivity where many of them died of sickness and starvation. Those who got tired of walking in the jungle were shot and abandoned. A mass grave and monument symbolize the place where the huge camp once stood. Tourism and Wildlife minister Professor Ephraim Kamuntu says that the site will now be developed and promoted as a tourist attraction in memory of the victims of the horrendous massacre.


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