Uganda starts rehabilitation process of former LRA fighters repatriated from CAR

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Uganda has begun the rehabilitation, resettlement, and reintegration process of former fighters of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) repatriated from the Central African Republic (CAR), a military spokesperson said Friday.’

At least 137 ex-combatants, and their wives and children, are receiving rehabilitation and psychosocial support at the Migyera military transit camp in the central district of Nakasongola, said Deo Akiiki, Uganda’s deputy military spokesperson.

“They (fighters and their families) are undergoing rehabilitation and psychosocial support under the Ministry of Defense, which will later hand them over to the Office of the Prime Minister which is mandated to handle reintegration and resettlement processes,” Akiiki told Xinhua by telephone.

The former fighters who denounced the rebellion and abandoned LRA top leader Joseph Kony will be resettled and reintegrated into their local communities in the Acholi Sub-region, the epicenter of the two-decade insurgency, according to the department in charge of the Northern Uganda Rehabilitation program, under the Office of the Prime Minister.

Uganda received three batches of ex-rebels who surrendered to the armed forces of CAR in July, August and September.

Kony, who is wanted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, remains at large.

The LRA is a notorious Ugandan rebel group that waged a 20-year-long insurgency, killing tens of thousands of civilians, abducting more than 20,000 children as soldiers, porters and sex slaves, and displacing over 1.8 million people in northern Uganda, until it was driven out of the country by the military in 2006 after failed peace talks.

The ex-combatants will receive their amnesty certificates and resettlement package, the Amnesty Commission said last month.

Since the setting up of the Amnesty Commission in 2000, over 30,000 ex-rebels who took arms against the state have been granted amnesty, according to the commission.

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