The Ecumenical Council of Karamoja (ECK) has organised a five-day self-reflection convention with the aim of mending relations with the neighboring regions.
The ECK seeks to renew the image of the sub region after 50 years of conflict.
For years, Karamoja has been at conflict with communities in Acholi, Teso and Sebei, Bugisu regions and parts of South Sudan and Kenya.
The sour relationship stemmed from armed cattle raids in the neighboring communities by Karimojong warriors.
The aggression was escalated by the overthrow of the Amin Dada and Obote II governments that opened the Moroto barracks armory to the warriors.
Now, the sub region regrets hostilities that have tainted its image for decades under the theme, “Time for confession, forgiveness, healing and empowerment of her people”.
Joseph Abura, the Moroto Anglican Bishop who also doubles as the Chairperson of the ECK says it is time for the sub region to make peace with her neighbors.
He says the sub region still wades in sin adding that the hands of Karamoja are still stained in red, which haunt it.
“Our people had gone on rampage, they went everywhere in Teso, in Acholi, in Lango, in Sebei, in Bugisu. They went to Kenya to Turkana, Pokot and raided cows and even from within. Each county or each district actually faults the other. Bokora fault the Piang, Piang fault the Matheniko.
The Matheniko fault the Bokora and the Jei fault the Dodoth. Everyone became the enemy of each other. And so we saw that people; men and women fell in hundreds whenever there was a raid, 300, 600, 200, 100 – all the time there was a raid, people died,” Bishop Abura says.
Mark Aol Musooka, the Moroto District Chairperson says the move will help explain the stand of the Karimojong towards their neighbors.
“15 years ago, about 40,000 guns have been collected from the Karimojong and we have gone ahead to pacify the region. We think Karamoja has in a way has been open, is a new place. Those old stereotypes are not here. Karimojong can now walk freely. We think it is the proper time for us to declare this place a new place and therefore call it the renaissance of Karamoja or a rebirth of a new place. Not the Karamoja of the past, not the Karamoja of the stereotype. Not the Karamoja of a no-go zone. It is a place where everyone would want to go. Karamoja is open for development with a lot of endowments”, Musooka says.
Over 3000 people within Karamoja, neighboring regions and other areas in the world will next week on Tuesday attend the four-day sub region convocation.