Fellow Highlight

Okot Komakech Deo
Monday, August 27, 2018

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights congratulates 2015 Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability Fellow (AHDA) Okot Komakech Deo on the publication of a new article examining the potential use of forensic science to mitigate anxiety related to mass graves and missing persons in Northern Uganda.

The article, entitled “The Mass Grave Scoping Project: Remembering and Recording Memories of Silenced Massacres: A Case in Northern Uganda,” was published by The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) in the special issue, Practicing Anthropology: Spring 2018. The Mass Grave Scoping Project focuses on recording recounted details from victims and survivors of unacknowledged massacres at locations of mass killings.

“It’s common in northern Uganda to come across memorials that clearly do not reflect what transpired. Individual and collective narratives based on these facts enhance processes of healing for victims,” writes Deo. “Forensic investigations can assist with these collective narratives.”

Deo is a Research and Documentation Officer at the Refugee Law Project’s National Memory and Peace Documentation Center (NMPDC) in Northern Uganda. In his position, Deo tracks the impact of NMPDC’s work within communities and among stakeholders, promotes awareness regarding debates about truth, reconciliation and accountability monitoring, supports community memorial initiatives and works on different documentation initiatives including oral history testimonies, mapping, conflict and historical event documentation.

Through The Mass Grave Scoping Project, Deo seeks to provide Ugandans in war-affected communities with a digital documentation platform for the collection and dissemination of information. The platform that enable citizens to share their memories and experiences and receive unbiased information about their history. Deo approaches documentation as a means for reconciliation and accountability, and, in the longer term, as a potential warning system with which to predict and prevent future conflict.

Click here to access the full article at SfAA.