UPDF: Seleka Rebels Shouldn’t Demand for Reward Over Ongwen

Seleka rebels will not receive the US $ 5M reward announced by the United States for information leading to the arrest of top commanders of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, Paddy Ankunda, the UPDF spokesperson has disclosed.

Army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda
Army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda

It comes days after Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic demanded for the cash reward for their role in the capture of Dominic Ongwen, the former LRA sinia brigade commander.

Ongwen was taken into custody by US forces in Central African Republic last week.

Shortly after, Seleka rebels demanded for the US $ 5Million cash bounty saying they had captured Ongwen in a gun battle near the eastern town of Sam Ouandja in early this month.

However, Ankunda denies the claim saying Ongwen surrendered and came into contact with the rebels while looking for people to welcome him from the bush.

Speaking exclusively to our reporters in Gulu, Ankunda said it is unfair for Seleka rebels to demand the reward and yet Ongwen just surrendered Adding that, the rebels didn’t even know Ongwen until UPDF identified him.

The former rebel leader is currently being held in CAR by the US forces is scheduled to be relocated to the International Criminal Court to face war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Initially, media reports claimed that president Yoweri Museveni has pardoned the rebel leader. However, both state house and General Katumba Wamala, the chief of defense forces have dismissed the reports.

A press statement from state house states that, amnesty is provided to rebel combatants who abandon and/or renounce their involvement in war against the state or the Constitution and not those involved in killing innocent civilians.

Both Ongwen and top LRA commander Joseph Kony are wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity. LRA has abducted thousands of children in northern Uganda, and neighboring countries, forcing the boys to become fighters and the girls to become sex slaves.

In 2011, US deployed 100 Special Forces troops in CAR alongside Ugandan troops to help track down the rebels.

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