Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Amnesty Commission has demobilized 164 reporters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) over the last one year.
The Commission says it demobilized most of the reporters from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it also made contact with ADF fighters to convince them to abandon rebellion against the government of Uganda.
According to the 2019 Justice Law and Order Sector Report, those demobilized were issued Amnesty Certificates, rehabilitated and reintegrated into communities.
The report says 126 of the reporters were LRA combatants while 38 were ADF. In terms of demographics, 111 were males and 53 females.
“The Commission provided reintegration assistance to 338 reporters who were waiting for reinsertion support in communities. Six of them from DRC, 40 from Kiryandongo, 112 from Gulu, 29 from Kasese, 126 from Kitgum and 25 from the Central region” the report states in part.
Some 15 others were reunited with their families with one each going to Bulambuli, Mbale, Kapchorwa and Nagogye in Kayunga districts respectively while another batch of three each went to Gulu and Kasese districts.
The Northern district of Pader received five reporters. According to the report released on Wednesday, the reporters were issued with reintegration start up packages, which included cash, seedlings, mattresses and household items.
It says 119 reporters living with severe trauma were counseled while 178 were linked to the Operation Wealth Creation Programme (OWC) for support. Some 3,157 reporters in Gulu, Kitgum, Arua, Pakwach, Koboko, Maracha, Kasese, Ntoroko, Mbale and Bugiri who had resettled into their communities received livelihood and reintegration survival trainings in environmental management, tree planting and agriculture.
“The Amnesty Commission conducted eight reconciliation dialogues for reunifications of reporters and communities in eight districts affected by conflicts and solved 60 percent of land issues between reporters and communities” the report states.
It says the Amnesty Commission is undertaking an evaluation study to fully understand impacts of reintegration programmes on reporters who have abandoned rebellion against the government.
Since independence, Uganda has suffered 125 various conflicts whose ripple effects continue to span the country with remnants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) sill active in the Democratic Republic of Congo.