AYINET supports post conflict communities in during Covid-19 Lock-down
In the wake of Covid – 19 pandemic in Uganda and it’s devastating impacts in the post-conflict greater northern region specifically, Lives of people and families were heavily affected. The restrictive measures that the Government put in place to protect the populations against infections and spread of the virus had double edged effects with a significant toll on the protection and safeguarding of human rights, service delivery and productivity.
On the 26th May 2020, a group of women vendors were arrested in Lira with pictures from the scenes depicting them carrying naked babies while climbing into prison trucks. This incidence occurred in a period of multiple widespread cases of violations of rights and torture of civilians by the security enforcement organs.
AYINET provided fuel worth 5M UGX to a group of probono lawyers led by Adam Makmot Kibwanga to secure the release of arrested suspects who were in prison in Kwania and could not afford lawyers to help them. This aimed at facilitating access to justice for upto 60 individuals arrested among whom 20 were women who were arrested for vending fruits and selling foodstuff that sparked outrage and concern among human rights activists, civil society and communities at large.
Victor OCHEN, the Founder and Executive Director of AYINET lamented on the situation, “If our war against COVID-19 is about forces humiliating vulnerable civilians, imprisonment of mothers vending fruits for survival, together with their naked children, and if our justice system charges them bails of $28 money you very well know they can’t afford, then we are fighting a losing battle.”
Upon release, A pregnant woman who went through this ordeal recalled the shock and fear that struck her when one of the security personnel yelled at her saying he would slap her and she would instantly deliver her child.
As part of the Covid-19 response, AYINET supported Lira and Gulu district task forces with 10M UGX each towards providing food to identified vulnerable groups and establishing the quarantine centres for Covid-19 suspect cases. AYINET also provided an additional 5M UGX to the task force security team for Lira in enforcing the covid 19 Presidential directives.
With support from UN TVF, DGF and UBS, AYINET has continued to implement the RECOVER program for war survivors across the greater northern region under the TJ framework to support physical and trauma healing for affected victims.
The program focuses on engaging youth in leadership development to promote cultures of peace and tolerance. The Gender POWER campaign that engages communities, stakeholders and duty bearers to address issues around gender inequality, Gender based violence and access to justice.