There was excitement and tears of joy in Ateuso village in Morungatuny sub-county Amuria as George William Ecodu, a former abductee of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels reunited with his family on Friday last week.
He was abducted by the LRA rebels in June 2003 while in primary 4. Ecodu who is now 25 years of age, spent 10 years in rebel captivity until he managed to escape in November last year.
He is one of the lucky 10 LRA fighters who managed to escape in Central African Republic from a group led by a top LRA only identified as Opoka. Ecodu was then handed over to the World Vision Rehabilitation Centre in Gulu for psychosocial assistance and rehabilitation. On Friday, Ecodu was reunited with his family amidst jubilation and tears of joy from his relatives. It was such an emotional moment for the relatives and neighbors who came in big numbers to welcome back Ecodu to his ancestral home.
Musa Ecweru, the disaster preparedness minister who witnessed the exercise couldn’t hold back his tears. He donated 1 million shillings to the family to help them take cares of Ecodu. In his speech, Ecodu who speaks Acholi and broken English asked the minister to help him join the army so that he can protect his family and relatives from the rebel invasion. Vincent Etolu, the Morungatuny sub-county LC 3 chairperson pledged to closely monitor the family and ensure Ecodu settles down properly.
Both world vision and Invisible children provided Ecodu with assortment of items including beddings and clothes. Harriet Akera Alayo, the Manager World Vision Gulu Office assured Ecodu’s relatives that they will continue monitoring him to ensure he is accepted and received well by the community. Alayo also said Ecodu would only stay with his relatives for a week before he is taken to Lacor Hospital for a minor surgery. She explained that while in the rebel ranks Ecodu was injured by a bomb and some fragments remained in his body.