Thousands of former Lord Resistance Army-LRA abductees in East Acholi
and parts of Lango sub-region are yet to receive resettlement package from
The abductees most of whom were granted amnesty nearly a decade ago were mandated
to receive short term resettlement packages to help them in reintegration
processes within the community.
James Okwany, the Amnesty Commission Regional Coordinator says that some 3,000
former LRA abductees from east Acholi and parts of Lango haven’t yet received
their resettlement benefits.
He says the delay is due to the limited funding the commission gets quarterly
which only serves a few of the former abductees once released.
For instance, Okwany says the commission used to issue out assistance inform of
hand hoes, plates, and cups, seeds for agriculture, mattresses, blankets, Jerry
cans and 263,000 shillings.
He, however, says the commission has since changed to giving money worth
462,000 shillings to each former abductee as resettlement packages.
Okwany says 7,000 former abductees from the region have received short term
assistance from, the commission over the years. The latest being 19 backlog who
received 8.7 million shillings from the commission in Kitgum town in December
Grace Acayo, a resident of Labongo Amida Sub County in Kitgum district who was
abducted by the lra rebels says it took her 17 years to receive her
resettlement package from government.
Acayo was among the lucky 19 former LRA abductees who received their packages
last year at the amnesty Kitgum offices.
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Acayo disclosed that she intends to use part of the 462,000
shillings to help in educating her son to ensure he has a better future.
Christopher Nyero, a former abductee who received the resettlement package
years ago, however, says the benefit has not been able to sustain him for long
since it’s inadequate.
Nyero who is now a member of a village saving group wants the commission to
support their group to improve their livelihood. He says he can no longer farm
because of a shoulder injury he sustained while in captivity as a result of
carrying heavy anti-aircraft gun stand.
Justice Peter Onega, the chairman of Amnesty Commission, says the commission
has over the years been having budgetary constraints, a reason they were unable
to give out resettlement benefits to the reporters.
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This financial year, the commission received 4.5 billion shillings for its
operation, out of which bulk of the fund goes for countrywide reintegration
programme according to justice Onega.
Justice Onega says through the years received complaints of livelihood
challenges among the reporters’ countrywide as a result of not being properly
He notes that the commission is planning to help out the reporters in
groups with ox-plough and solar panels but tasked them to commit themselves to
work hard to improve their situation.
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Cue out. Kind of complaints”.//
The amnesty commission have so far granted amnesty to more than 27,000 former
rebels from the allied democratic forces, West Nile Bank Front (WNBF), National
Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF II) and LRA rebel outfit since the
Amnesty Act was enacted in 2000.