Former Arrow Boys Group, a militia group that defeated Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Teso sub region have appealed to President Yoweri Museveni to support them economically.
The leaders of the Arrow Boys militia group from sub counties of Awalwal, Gweri and Aukot were on Wednesday meeting their overall commander, Capt Mike Mukula at Timisha Hotel, Soroti to discuss their grievances. During the meeting, the commander of Arrow Boys in Gweri, Michael Ebeu presented a memo to Capt Mukula seeking for support from the President.
Ebeu said their efforts to fight and defeat Kony in Teso and Lango sub region have not been appreciated by the NRM government despite the fact that most of them are fully mobilizing for government in the forthcoming elections. On behalf of the Arrow Boys, Ebeu appreciated presidential initiative to ensure that they get a monthly pay of Shs60,000. He however, added that there is need for Museveni to fulfill his other pledges and also give them a ‘kasiimo’ for the job well done in 2003 when they defeated Kony.
“We the Arrow Boys were promised iron sheets so that we could also build decent houses, but up to now we have not seen them. We also need the president to fulfill his promise to support to families of Arrow Boys and widows and orphans,” Ebeu said, adding that they also need a special recognition such as medal awards. When Kony entered Teso, it took efforts of Mukula and now minister Musa Ecweru to seek government to give them guns and subsequently, form Arrow Boys militia group.
According to Mukula, government gave them 10,000 guns to fight Kony. The rentless efforts of Arrow Boys led to the killing of Kony’s most trusted commanders such as Tabule, Opio Lapunyo, and Vincent Otti etc which eventually weakened the rebel leader until he fled to the Central African Republic.
Mukula who is expected to meet the President on Friday in Kumi district, promised to forward their memo for urgent intervention. He promised to support the SACCO for the Arrow Boys with at least Shs10m and further mobilize all other MPs in Teso to contribute to their saving group.
“I am aware that the late Gen Aronda promised you Shs10m. Let's have that Arrow SACCO in place and I will personally put Shs10m. I will ask every Member of Parliament in Teso to also put Shs10m each including contributions from district chairpersons and councilors,” he said, adding that the request of iron sheets will be handled urgently. He also asked them to open an office in Soroti to ease communication and mobilization. He will then pay rent for the office space for one year in advance.
Maj Gen Joseph Arocha, a member of the UPDF Court Martial warned the former Arrow Boys against involving themselves in subversive activities and asked them to continue supporting the NRM government for peace, stability and economic empowerment.
“Let us allow Gen Museveni to finish his programs. You, Arrow fighters broke the backs of LRA. So don't allow to be misguided by opposition who thrive on lies and propaganda. We shall not allow opposition to use Iteso because we know where we came and where we are going,” Arocha said.