IJM Opens 16th Field Office: IJM Gulu
GULU, UGANDA – On October 15, 2012, International Justice Mission opened its 16th field office, IJM Gulu. The new field office – the organization’s second in Uganda – will protect and defend widows and orphans in Northern Uganda from the theft of their homes and property.
Building on the success of its land-rights work in IJM Kampala (Uganda) and IJM Lusaka (Zambia), IJM Gulu will secure rescue and relief for victims of property grabbing and hold criminals accountable for their crimes.
“Widows and orphans in Northern Uganda are particularly vulnerable to property grabbing,” explains IJM Kampala field office director Jesse Rudy. “We look forward to leveraging the lessons learned from years of anti-property grabbing casework to bring rescue and restoration to victims and accountability to their perpetrators.”
After Uganda’s national civil war ended in 1986, millions living in Northern Uganda were terrorized by a rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader, Joseph Kony. Though Kony has now fled, his 20-year war displaced roughly two million people in Northern Uganda. These “displaced people” are now returning home from temporary camps where they sought shelter, only to discover that their homes have been stolen and are now occupied by more powerful neighbors – neighbors who threaten violence with machetes and spears.
Now, vulnerable people aren’t getting the protection they urgently need from the courts or law enforcement in Gulu. Many victims of property grabbing don’t know their rights, and, even if a victim succeeds in reporting the crime, the courts are massively backlogged.
With IJM Gulu, victims of property grabbing will now have a defender.
Meet Grace and learn more about the crime of property-grabbing.
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