Eight people who participated in the attacks in Rwenzori have so far surrendered at the two reception centers set up in Kasese district. They however did not surrender with any weapons; Lt. Ninsiima Rwemijuma, the army spokesperson for the Rwenzori Region says.
The development comes just days after president Yoweri Museveni accepted a call for pardon from Rwenzori region leaders to all people who participated in the recent attacks on security installations and civilians in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko. The call led to the establishment of two reception centers through which those seeking amnesty channel their applications.
A similar call last week led to the recovery of over 10 guns, 9 magazines and tear gas canisters stolen from them during the attack in Bundibugyo district on Saturday. The guns were reportedly voluntarily returned through the reception centers at Bumadu primary school, in Bundibugyo and at Kasese District Social Hall.
The army says the wounded attackers have been enrolled for treatment as the questioning continues. Rwemijuma adds that the UPDF and other security agencies will follow provisions of the amnesty laws by not taking those who surrendered to courts of law.
However, Rwemijuma adds that the screening process for the about 200 suspected attackers arrested in security operations in the three districts is about to be concluded and they will certainly be paraded before the civilian and military courts tomorrow. He says that the court process will start with Bundibugyo before turning to Kasese district.
Meanwhile, Kasese district leaders together with security agencies have structured a rehabilitation plan for those who will surrender before they are allowed back to the community.
The district Chairperson Lt. Col. Dura Mawa Muhindo says that after being received at the district social hall, they will be interviewed and taken for a rehabilitation camp at the former National Union for Youth Organization (NUYO) institute in Kyahundu village, Maliba sub-county for vocational studies.
He says that at NUYO the returnees will be trained in vocational skills so as they start earning incomes as the best alternatives to violence.
In Bundibugyo, elders among the Bakonzo community have embarked on the process of searching for guns from the attackers who escaped to the mountainous villages after the July 5 attacks on an army barracks, police and financial institutions.
At least 22 guns were initially reported missing from the army and police after they were targeted by the attackers believed to be extremists from the Rwenzururu Kingdom youth wing known locally as “Esyomango Syo Obusinga”.
Defense Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga who claims he had a meeting with the Bakonzo Elders in Bundibugyo on Tuesday last week says that so far, they have recovered four guns and handed them to the authorities. He says that the Bakonzo elders confessed to him that they were ashamed by the actions of their children.