KAMPALA. The Ministry of Tourism is planning to establish a memorial and museums in which a collection of historical documents, artifacts and equipment depicting Uganda's history will be preserved.
The memorial will have information about the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) war that ravaged northern Uganda for more than two decades, the Luweero Triangle guerilla war that ushered in the National Resistance Army led by President Yoweri Museveni, and moments about the history of Uganda under Idi Amin Dada.
The Lord's Resistance Army alone is believed to have left a least 100,000 people dead during a reign of terror spanning two decades. The LRA group led by Joseph Kony is also blamed for the abduction of between 60,000 and 100,000 children and the displacement of at least 2.5 million people.
State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi says the project is envisioned to start in the financial year 2019/2020. He says that although Uganda is not proud of its dark past, such a memorial would be a place where people can learn about Uganda's past through research and a centre of reconciliation.
Kiwanda could not specify the location and details of the funding but said they are currently considering the areas affected by the atrocities.
"Countries like Rwanda have a memorial centre for the genocide, and this is a very big reminder to them, but also a great tourism centre," Kiwanda said.
Nwoya Woman MP Lilly Adong says the memorials will be important to speak out loud against any form of violence and preach respect of human dignity. She says there are areas in northern Uganda that still bring fear in people, and remind them of the past.
Buliisa County MP Stephen Mukitale welcomed the move saying the museums should not only be for tourism and income generation, but for reconciliation, healing and national dialogue. He says this is the point where accountability and truth-telling need to be exhibited.
The Parliamentary Committee on Tourism says there is no museum in the country that showcases Uganda's liberation history, while Rwanda earns a lot of revenue from the genocide museums.
Close to 10 years ago, a similar project was initiated in Gulu, to preserve the history of the 20-year Lord's Resistance Army insurgency.
The project was envisaged to store thousands of testimonies of people affected by the LRA war to ensure that the history of the war is not lost. It had been implemented by Gulu local government and Centre of Conflict Studies of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Gulu University.