September 9, 2013

Amnesty Commission: M23 Defectors Don’t Qualify for Amnesty in Uganda

M23 rebels seeking to denounce rebellion don’t qualify for amnesty in Uganda, Moses Draku, the spokesperson Amnesty Commission has disclosed.

M23 rebels walk through the jungle in North Kivu province in eastern Congo.
M23 rebels walk through the jungle in North Kivu province in eastern Congo.

According to Draku, section 3 of the Amnesty Act of 2000 does not provide amnesty to people engaged in fighting other governments.

This comes a few days after the Amnesty Commission received applications from 11 M23 defectors seeking to denounce rebellion. The M23 rebels are involved in clashes with the Joseph Kabila led government in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One of the defectors is Richard Bisangwa, who was taken to the commission by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo agency late last week.

However, Draku explains that all the commission can do is to resettle the former rebels with their families without issuing them amnesty certificates and resettlement packages like they do with the local rebels.

Information obtained from the amnesty commission shows that over 26,000 ex- Ugandan combatants have been granted amnesty since January 26, 1986.

Twenty eight different rebel groups have at different times been fighting the NRM regime since 1986 when it captured power.  Only the Lords Resistance Amry and Allied Democratic Front are still operational. Half of the over 26,000 combatants who embraced amnesty belong to the LRA.

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