The Ugandan government has taken a significant step towards fostering peace and reintegration by extending amnesty to rebel fighters for an additional two years.
Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the State Minister for Northern Uganda, made this announcement while addressing a gathering of over 70 former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels and their families who have recently returned from the Central African Republic.
Minister Kwiyucwiny highlighted the government’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for rebels who wish to renounce their rebel activities and return to their communities. This extension of the amnesty program signifies the government’s dedication to promoting lasting peace and stability in the region.
“The government has extended amnesty for a period of two years to enable all rebels to denounce their rebel activities and return home,” affirmed Minister Kwiyucwiny.
Huda Oleru Abason, the State Minister for Defence and Veterans Affairs, emphasized the importance of the amnesty program in guaranteeing peace and freedom for repatriated LRA rebels urging these former rebels to leverage their experiences and persuade their colleagues to abandon rebel activities and embrace reintegration.
“The repatriated LRA rebels can enjoy guaranteed peace and freedom. I encourage them to use their voices to convince their fellow rebels to withdraw from their activities and return home,” stated Minister Abason.
Lt. Gen. Charles Otema, the UPDF (Uganda People’s Defence Forces) Commander of Reserve Forces, addressed the returning rebels by assuring them of both security and seamless integration into their respective communities. He stressed that the government is committed to ensuring that repatriated LRA rebels are not subjected to stigmatization.
“Those who have returned will experience total security. We will integrate them into their communities without any form of stigmatization,” reassured Lt. Gen. Otema.
The extension of the amnesty program is a testament to the government’s ongoing efforts to foster peace and reconciliation in the region. It provides rebels with an opportunity to reclaim their lives and contribute positively to their communities.