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USAID Builds Community Justice Centers in Northern Uganda
On January, 11, the Lady Justice Alice E. Mpagi-Bahigeine, Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda, was the guest of honor at the launch of the first community justice center. This center was created with funding under the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Community Law and Order Project. The Deputy Chief of Mission Ms. Virginia Blaser, the USAID Mission Director David Eckerson, Mr. Richard Buteera, Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Julius Odwee, Deputy Inspector of Police, local government officials, and other dignitaries participated. USAID’s, Northern Uganda Transition Initiative NUTI program received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense in 2009 to support the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs’ Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS).
The goal was to create community justice centers where the courts, the police, and the prosecutors could all work together to increase access to justice in post-conflict northern Uganda. USAID/NUTI constructed four units of staff housing in Pader district for the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the magistrates, and an office block for the DPP. USAID/NUTI also constructed a modern court house, a police post, and police staff housing in the adjacent Agago district. The goal was to strengthen the rule of law to protect life and property, prevent and detect crime, and provide for the effective investigation and prosecution of criminals.
The entire cost for this first community justice center was approximately $900,000. Two more community justice centers will be completed and inaugurated in the coming months.