Uganda’s Prime Minister Rt Hon Robinah Nabbanja has asked ex – LRA combatants to reintegrate and acclimatize to their new environment.
She said this on the occasion of receiving ex-Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) combatants and their families at Entebbe.
The Prime Minister commended the President and Commander in Chief (CIC) of the UPDF HE (Rtd) Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his counterpart the President of Central African Republic (CAR) Prof. Faustin -Archange Touadera, for enabling the process of disarmament, demobilization and repatriation of Ugandans who had earlier been misled to fight the Government of Uganda through armed resistance. “Without his (CIC) visionary and wise leadership, what we are witnessing today would have not been possible,” said the Prime Minister.
Hon. Nabbanja noted that the earlier Juba Peace talks culminated in today’s repatriation of the first batch of ex-LRA combatants, women and children to return home and peacefully resettle within communities.
She assured repatriates that Uganda is a peaceful country and that Government will do its best to guarantee their security, just like the practice is done for other repatriates elsewhere. “I assure you that the Uganda government won’t relent when it comes to ensuring the maintenance of peace in the country,” she concluded.
Speaking at the same repatriation ceremony, the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs (MODVA) Hon Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja said that the ceremony is a major milestone for our army, Ministry of Defence and the people of Uganda. “We are witnessing the closing chapter and termination of conflict. I thank CIC and our Officers and Men for manoeuvring all potential spoilers. Thank you for the excellent work and commitment of service, ” he appreciated.
Hon. Ssempijja thanked members of the Diplomatic Community, most especially the embassy of the Royal Kingdom of Netherlands and Belgium; for their immense support of the repatriation exercise.
Other representatives like the Acholi Parliamentary Group, locals from Acholi and Lango regions, and traditional leaders; were also recognized.
In his remarks on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, the Uganda Air Cargo boss Lt Gen Nakibus Lakara, applauded both President Museveni and President Prof. Faustin -Archange Touadera’s efforts towards the return of peace and stability in the region.
He urged repatriates not to feel ashamed and called upon the community to adopt them and embrace them in a friendly manner.
The repatriated ex-LRA combatants, who were led by Maj Gen Docto Achaya showed gratitude to the President of Uganda, UPDF and the Acholi cultural leaders for bringing them back to Uganda.
He assured Ugandans that the activities and insurgency caused by ex – LRA combatants will never manifest in Uganda again.
The second batch of ex-LRA combatants is expected to arrive home on 30th July 2023.
The repatriates and their families surrendered to UPDF in the Central African Republic (CAR).
The repatriated insurgents include 14 LRA combatants, 14 of their wives and their 33 children.
The exercise was also witnessed by Minister of State for Defence Hon Jacob Marksons Oboth, UPDAF Under Secretary Finance and Administration Mr. James Mutabazi, Chief of Staff Land Force Maj Gen Jack Bakasumba, Chief Political Commissar Maj Gen Henry Masiko, Chief of Staff Air Force Brig Gen David Gonyi, and the Deputy Chief Medical Services Brig Gen Patrick Ocen, among others.