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The rebels will be integrated into their communities

Uganda Welcomes 61 Former LRA Rebels Repatriated from CAR

posted onSeptember 28, 2023

On Thursday, Uganda received a second group of former members of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group who were repatriated from the Central African Republic (CAR).

Led by Lt Col Robert Kidega, the group consisted of 61 individuals. Among them, 15 were former combatants, while 14 were women with their 32 children.

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon Norbert Mao, along with Kilak North member of parliament and leader of the Acholi parliament group, Hon Anthony Akoth, and senior army officers led by Commander Airforce Lt Gen Charles Okidi, were present to receive them.

This second batch follows a previous one in July, led by Maj. Gen. Ali Acaye, also known as "Doctor." The initial group, consisting of 14 former rebels, their wives, and 33 children, had been hiding in the jungles of CAR.

The LRA is a Ugandan rebel group that caused widespread devastation during their 20-year insurgency. They killed thousands of civilians, abducted over 20,000 children as soldiers, porters, and sex slaves, and displaced over 1.8 million people in northern Uganda. In 2006, the Ugandan military drove the group out of the country after failed peace negotiations. The LRA fighters sought refuge in neighboring South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and CAR.

Despite efforts to bring him to justice, the group's leader, Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity, remains at large. In May 2021, another LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen, was convicted by the same court and sentenced to 25 years in prison for similar charges. Ongwen was found guilty of committing crimes against humanity, war crimes, and sexual and gender-based crimes in northern Uganda between July 2002 and December 2005.

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