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Govt in talks with war debt claimants

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th March 2008 03:00 AM

THE Government wants to settle out of court a demand from Acholi war debt claimants amounting to sh1.4 trillion.

THE Government wants to settle out of court a demand from Acholi war debt claimants amounting to sh1.4 trillion.

By Chris Ocowun

THE Government wants to settle out of court a demand from Acholi war debt claimants amounting to sh1.4 trillion.

The 6,436 claimants sued the Government at Gulu High Court demanding compensation for 245,046 animals which were allegedly eaten by the national army (UPDF) and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in the 21 years of the insurgency in Acholi land.

The aggrieved, who are from Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Amuru districts, originally wanted to be paid for over 800,000 head of cattle as computed in 1986.

The claimants, represented by Donge and Company Advocates, thronged the court premises for the hearing that began on Monday.

However, having realised that the state was considering an out-of-court settlement within two months, the lawyers asked for an adjournment to allow the negotiations to proceed.

“If by the end of the two months nothing happens, then we shall proceed with the hearing,” Donge told journalists.

The resident judge, Remmy Kasule, adjourned the case to June 24.
The chairman of the group, Norbert Adyera, asked the Government to speed up the negotiation process.

Revealing that the figure was computed by the Gulu University faculty of science, Adyera broke down the sh1.4 trillion demand as: The value of the animals (sh577,213,200), revenue from the milk (sh566,128,350) and meat (sh270,417,900,000).

A member of the group, Paulinus Nyeko, complained of opportunists.
“It took us two years to register the claimants but many people did not take us seriously. They despised us and now they want to be included because they have heard that the Government wants to settle the claims.

“But each of us paid sh5,000 to facilitate the work of our lawyer.”

Govt in talks with war debt claimants

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