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Reformed Warriors Embark on Community Dialogues for Reconciliation :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Reformed Warriors Embark on Community Dialogues for Reconciliation

The ongoing dialogues bring together the local leaders, Elders, Security team, and community members. The campaign also seeks to mobilize the warriors who are still in the jungle to embrace peace and voluntarily hand over their guns.
Reconciliation Dialogue among the reformed warriors of Kotido, Kaabong and Moroto

Audio 4

Reformed warriors in the Karamoja sub-region have embarked on community dialogues to promote reconciliation.

The ongoing dialogues bring together the local leaders, Elders, Security team, community, and those who are suspected to be still in possession of guns among other stakeholders across all the nine districts of Karamoja.   The campaign also seeks to mobilize the warriors who are still in the jungles to embrace peace and voluntarily hand over their guns.

During the dialogue, the reformed warriors are given time to speak to their colleagues and also raise their concerns as people the stakeholders listen to them.

Joseph Lokong, a reformed warrior from Kotido said that they have resorted to moving to each district across the region to ask forgiveness and encourage their colleagues to embrace peace.

Lokong noted that revenge attacks have been the major factor escalating insecurity.

''I want us to forget the past, we are now here for peace and ready to collaborate with our leaders and security organs to ensure that peace prevails'' Lokong said.

Lokong urged the government to involve them in activities that will keep them busy and away from thinking of returning to the jungle.

Abura Loduk, a reformed warrior from Nabilatuk district said that cattle rustling is a gambling game that has caused so many losses to them and it was not simple to abandon it since it is for survival.

Loduk said that he was forced to come out of the jungle when he heard that his bush commander was shot dead by the security forces.

Loduk noted that due to the hard times in the bush, he surrendered to the forces and voluntarily handed over his gun.

Loduk appealed to the government to consider building for him a house and opening a business that would keep him busy rather than thinking of returning back to the bush.

Albino Ilukol, another reformed warrior from Nabilatuk district said that he used to command over five groups consisting of 40 members each to carry out deadly attacks across the region.

Ilukol noted that he only realized that cattle rustling was bad when he survived death after the security forces shot at him.

He appeals to friends who are still in the jungle to come out before they are peaceful, rather than waiting for danger to push them by force.

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Judith Natuk, the mobilizer of reformed warriors also known as Karachunas in the Karamoja region said that they have been trying everything possible to bring together all the different clusters across the districts.

Natuk observed that the main problem has been a blame game among the clusters but all of them have been brought together for reconciliation.

Natuk said that they resolved to gather reformed warriors from all the districts and support them to move around to meet and apologize to the people they have been terrorizing.

She said that the approach has worked because they forgave each other and are now ready to discuss peace amongst themselves.

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Francis Adome, the Member of Parliament Moroto Municipality noted that the insecurity dragged on for so long because the first approach of disarmament messed up the peace mission.

Adome said that a lot of lives and property were lost because there was too much force yet less was done in the community sensitization.

Adome also revealed that the forces did not achieve their mission because they sidelined local leaders who could have engaged the Karachunas to embrace peace.

He said that the new approach of involving reformed warriors to preach the gospel of peace will address the insecurity because the local leadership is involved.

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However, Brig Gen Felix Busizoori, the Deputy Commander of the 3rd Division observed that although the community peace dialogues are yielding results, some are still skeptical of handing over their guns.

Busizoori said that some Karachunas have revealed owning guns but want money for compensation.

He added that they are still in discussions with the warriors to accept peace and surrender their guns.

Busizoori is optimistic that the approach is working properly because most of the notorious warriors who have been on the wanted list are surrendering their guns and given amnesty.

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