A visit to Northern Uganda turned out differently than expected… Last June 2023, Margot Lemmen, Harry de Vries and Ineke Oomen visited Kalongo in Northern Uganda. We had been there before and were always warmly welcomed. Also this time.We arrived late afternoon on Sunday, but as soon as darkness set in we heard gunshots, not very far from the hospital! The Karamajong, a nomadic people, were on a raid to steal livestock from the local population. They had attacked the local shepherds with clubs, guns and spears. The next morning we were shown around the surgical department, where all kinds of men were with gunshot, stab and impact wounds. It looked like war here! We saw, among other things, a young man of 21 who had been hit on the head, resulting in skull fractures and a collapsed lung. A 12-year-old girl with a broken thigh. Another patient with a spinal cord injury after a gunshot wound. On wednesday morning,more victims were brought in, including an injured soldier with a gunshot wound through his shoulder. His shoulder was completely destroyed as a result. We were very impressed but we had to go to work.
After a week we left considerably moredepressed than when we came, what a misery. The situation now seems to have improved and the army has gained more control over these types of gangs and no more night-time robberies have been reported.
Harry de Vries, Ineke Oomen and Margot Lemmen