Members of West Nile Pro-reform Agenda have petitioned Uganda Amnesty Commission over delay to reintegrate Brig. Ayiga Rajabu Ayile and his group into community several years after starting the process.
This group according to the petition was part of Uganda National Rescue Front II disgruntled fighters who failed to get amnesty and resettlement package after 2004 Peace Agreement signed in Yumbe.
Batta Andruga, a Mediator in the process for Ayiga Rajabu Ayile explains that, efforts were made to have him and the group reintegrated but it has not worked since then. “After the peace accord in 2004, Bamuze denied them and set them aside. They came home and were not given amnesty, they were not resettled and not given resettlement package” Batta recalls, saying that Ayiga started following the matter but was threatened with arrest, forcing him to flee again.
The Chairperson of West Nile Pro-reform Agenda, Muzamil Alumgbe points out challenges the former fighters face as they struggle to settle without government support. “Nothing has been done since that time the fighters surrendered, and it is the reason they continue returning to the bush. It is not because they are against President Museveni but just because they lost ownership of their land to settle” he said.
This group of former fighters according to the petition, voluntarily returned and surrendered to government, but Ayiga up to now has not been considered for amnesty upon his return.
They reveals that he is currently under Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in Kampala, transferred from Yumbe.
Uganda Amnesty Commission Spokesperson, Moses Draku confirms that, the amnesty regional Arua office is working with security to verify the former fighters. “They are in touch with UPDF and CMI, these are out partners in the implementation of Amnesty Act. If they tell us that these are rebel groups that have been fighting them, we shall certainly be prepared to ask them to come back and offer amnesty. But if UPDF and CMI say they were not fighting them, I don’t think it is possible for us” the Spokesperson said.
About 424 of 600 former fighters who surrendered were dispersed home by security while the whereabouts of 8 others remain unknown and are suspected to be in communities.
COVER PHOTO: The Chairperson of West Nile Pro-reform Agenda, Muzamil Alumgbe By Sabir Musa