Lamogi Rebellion site; Uganda’s forgotten pearl

A view of part of the Guru Guru hills.

By Gertrude Tumusiime Uwitware

Getting up here is no easy task.

The hill is steep but when you finally drag yourself atop the Guru-guru hills, you can say to your soul ‘take your peace’.

Standing up here, you have the entire Amuru District in your eyes.

Here, nature is the verbal.

The rocky hills are curved with a touch of Godliness, a wind giving off a healthy scent comes from the green species of all breeds that grow atop and from beneath the hills.

A stream of fresh water flows from the rocks downhill; believed to be the water Lamogi, the then head of the initial inhabitants used to drink.

Creatures of all kinds have a home here, reptiles crawl, butterflies hover, birds chant, while monkeys are the lords of the dance. They all enjoy uninterrupted freedom.

The hills are an isolated place in Guru-guru Village, Lamogi sub-county, Amuru District. Currently, there are no residents, except a small hut at the foot of the hills, where an old man who farms around rests.

At the mention of the name Lamogi, many of us think about the famous rebellion in northern Uganda against colonial rule, yes, this is the place where the 1911 rebellion happened.

While here, you get to understand why the Lamogi worriers fought to defend this land jealously.

It is a historical site; explains how the worriers fought, the techniques they used and how they finally surrendered into the hands of the white man.

At the entrance, on the rocks, there are visible blood- like stains, they appear centuries old.

Rock with blood-like spots

It is believed that this is blood of a White Captain who was killed during the rebellion. You need no spectacles to see them, they form a pattern from up the hill to downhill.

According to Nyero Julius, an elder in the land, Oyamo, an Acholi worrier shot the Captain using a local Acholi gun and when he died, no one bothered to wipe away the blood; it is that blood that is visible till today.

“He rolled down several times before he reached this spot where he died and this is the blood, it has stayed since 1911,” narrates Nyero

The rebellion initially happened because the people of lamogi were resisting colonial rule. The whites were imposing heavy taxes on them and also demanded cheap labour, something they detested and eventually rebelled against them.

Apparently, when the captain died, the whites became too angry and more brutal, but although they did, the worriers had mastered the techniques of fighting in these hills.

Nyero points to a cave he says is more than 60 meters deep, he says it helped the worriers fight.

“They were very clever, they would hide in the cave and then shoot back at the whites invisibly,” Nyero explains

When it became too much for the whites to handle, they sprayed a poisonous gas into the hills that drove all the people out of their hiding places and many died in this course. The survivors surrendered to the will of the white man.

Since then, the caves and the Rebellion became historic symbols of resistance against colonialism.

The hills had been residential for the worriers but also believed to have been a habitant for the god they worshipped, so for them it was a sacred place.

That is one of the reasons they protected it, they also believe that their god fought with them.

Now, if you thought Northern Uganda is all about war, think twice, as here rests a treasure forgotten. –The Guru- guru Hills.

Lango cultural foundation has previously promised to preserve and maintain the site but no visible work has been done on the ground.

Locals continue to demand that the Government builds a memorial site so that it can serve as a tourist point however no plans have been unveiled yet.


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2 thoughts on “Lamogi Rebellion site; Uganda’s forgotten pearl”

  1. I think the government should join local leaders and cultural leaders in northern uganda to put more funding in the places that we assume can boost tourism in our country, not relying in central, east and west. If possible construct roads which connect to search places.

    1. I think its now high time for northern uganda to boost all the forgotten areas in our region especially GURU GURU hills where lamogi rebellion sparked and stopped, we shall be greatfull if the government consider our ideas.

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