Last Updated on: 30th December 2023, 11:23 pm
Gulu |A total of 141 former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) combatants were on Saturday received at the SOS Community Centre in Pece Pawel Central, Gulu district.
They were received by State Minister for Northern Uganda Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny who commended them for their decision to abandon rebellion and return home.
“Thank you for making that good decision and as they say, ‘East or West home is best’, and thank you for keeping the Ugandan culture because almost all of you can speak Acholi language,” Minister Kwiyucwiny said.
The Minister commended President Yoweri Museveni and all government leaders for facilitating the returnees to come back home.
“The President didn’t bring you home to suffer but to enjoy the peace and live a good life. Our government doesn’t segregate, discriminate and it will look after you as any other citizen of this country,” Kwiyucwiny told the returnees.
According to her, the government has prepared amnesty for former combatants, cautioning them against engaging in bad acts which will see them dragged to the Courts of Law.
The 4 Infantry Division Deputy Commander Brig Gen John Musoke who represented the Division Commander thanked the key players who enabled the former LRA combatants to return home.
Brig Gen Musoke assured them of their safety and security and urged the parents to keep advising their children.
He called upon the leaders to sensitize citizens for a better Uganda.
The Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese, Archbishop John Baptist Odama called upon the people to forgive the returnees because they are their children. The man of God encouraged all the people to live in peace and harmony.
On behalf of the returnees, Doctor Ocaya commended the government of Uganda and the UPDF leadership for bringing them back home.
“It was not willingness to be in the bush, we ask for total forgiveness and we have come back with one heart to stay with you in peace,” Ocaya said.
APRU Pax, an NGO based in Gulu pledged to give them food, medical attention and other necessities.
The function was attended by the Chairperson Technical Committee, Brig Gen Patrick Ocen, and Resident City Commissioner Jane Francese Okili, among other leaders.