It was all joy at Butaleja District Headquarters on Wednesday as children who were recently rescued from the Allied Democratic Forces –ADF training camp in Buvuma Island reunited with their parents.
The 15 children most of who are between the ages of 12 and 15 are all residents of Namunasa village, Nampologoma parish in Kachonga sub county- Butaleja district. They were rescued in a joint operation by the army and the police on July 27.
Hadija Gimbo, a mother of two of the rescued children fainted on seeing her children and was rushed to Busolwe Hospital in Butaleja. After she recovered, Gimbo expressed joy for her children saying she had completely lost hope of seeing them again. Gimbo commended the government for rescuing and bringing them back.
Fazili Haruna Hasahya, whose two children were rescued, was all in tears of joy as he grabbed and hugged them. Haruna narrated that he had left the children at home as he went to the trading center, but when he returned he never found them. He said he searched for them in vain for more than two weeks.
Patrick Onyango, the Deputy Police Spokesperson, claims that the security burst the ADF training camp in Buvuma Island following Intelligence reports that the ADF rebel group had started recruiting some young children there.
Onyango said after they were rescued on July 27th, the children who were undergoing indoctrination into the ADF ideologies were rehabilitated at a center in Kampala he declined to identify for security reasons, before they were handed to their parents on Wednesday.
He advised parents and guardians to take extra care about the movement of their children and asked them to be security conscious.
Lt. Godfrey Kavili, the Butaleja District Internal Security Officer [DISO], who represented the army at the handover, claims that some parents were conniving with the ADF rebel group to recruit their children.
He said they are investigating some of these parents adding that those implicated would be arrested and charged with treason.
Kavili said they are going to beef up security in the district to avert the ADF target in the area.
Joseph Muyonjo, the Butaleja District LC 5 chairperson said his office has also received information that some parents were willingly recruiting their children into the ADF rebel group.
Muyonjo said until the children were rescued none of the parents reported to police about the disappearance of their children, something he says is suspicious.
He said the district leaders will work with the security team to get these parents. He warned the general public against resorting to armed rebellion to overthrow the government.