Amnesty Commission suspends resettlement packages to ex- rebels


Former LRA defector, Bosco Kilama (left) receives a mattress from Amnesty Commission Sister Mary Okee at the Northern Uganda Media Club in Gulu. Looking on is Lt Ahmed Hassan Kato, the 4th Division Infantry spokesman

The Amnesty Commission has announced it is indefinitely suspended issuing of resettlement packages to former members of various rebel groups who have surrendered and  have been granted amnesty under the amnesty act due to lack of funds.

This was revealed on Wednesday by the Amnesty Commission Spokesman Moses Draku while speaking at a press conference at the Northern Uganda Media Club.

The Amnesty Commission started providing resettlement packages in January 2005 with the aim of integrating former rebels into civilian life and promoting peace and reconciliation in Uganda.

The packages included household items and agricultural tools provided with support from a $4.2 million grant by the World Bank’s Multi-country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP).

However the Commission has said it will no longer be able to give out packages to rebels who abandon rebellion due to financial constraints.

Moses Draku, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), of the Commission told journalists in Gulu on Wednesday that they had suspended extending support to the ex-rebel fighters due to limited funding.

According to Draku, ex- combatants will now only be given amnesty to exonerate them from the crimes they may have committed while engaged in rebel activity.

Two Ex-Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) fighters who recently defected from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MUNUSO) got an amnesty from the commission this week

Bosco Kilama, 45, and Simon Peter Ochora, 21 were handed the amnesty certificates on Tuesday in a ceremony held after a press briefing at Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) offices in Gulu town. The two received their certificates from Sister Mary Okee of the Amnesty Commission.