National
Minister apologizes to children abducted by LRA
Publish Date: Mar 30, 2014
Minister apologizes to children abducted by LRA
In the middle of the excitement, Ecodu was airlifted by jubilant relatives upon his return home from rebel captivity. PHOTO/James Odong
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By James Odong

AMURIA - The minister of State for disaster preparedness and refugees, Musa Ecweru, has apologized to children who are still in captivity in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) ranks and to those who have since returned home.

He made the public apology on Friday during the return and reunion of George William Ecodu who was abducted by the rebels on June 26, 2003 in their village in Ateuso village in Morungatuny sub-county, Amuria district.

The rebel group, led by Joseph Kony, is still at large. But it has previously been widely believed to be operating somewhere in the jungles of Central African Republic (CAR) or South Sudan or even the DR Congo.

Ecodu was reunited with his family and village mates on Friday after spending 11 years in captivity. His return was greeted by scenes of celebrations and endless greetings by World Vision.

“I want on the onset to apologize from the bottom of my heart in my capacity as one of the leaders from Teso region for not adequately protecting our children in 2003 when they were abducted in big numbers by LRA rebels,” said minister Ecweru.

He said that while it is true that as a leader of the Arrow Group that worked with the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF), they were able to rescue thousands from the LRA rebels, and that for that reason, he owed the children an apology.

“I strongly owe those children still in captivity my sincere apology for our failure to protect them, leading to their loss of innocence and enslavement while they were still children who deserved our protection.”

(PHOTOs by James Odong)


George William Ecodu returned home after spending 11 years in rebel captivity. Right is State minister Musa Ecweru


His return on Friday sparked off a scene of celebrations by relatives and friends


Minister Ecweru poses for a group photo with former LRA abductees

Kony was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2005 but has evaded capture.

He was forced out of Uganda in 2006 after 20 years of war in northern Uganda during which hundreds of people were killed, orphaned and displaced.

His group was once reported to be crumbling in strength.

Ecweru promised that the children who have returned will never go through what they experienced “because the peace at home is now durable”.

Commenting on the US combat planes which were sent by the US president Barrack Obama to boost the search for LRA rebels in the jungles of DR Congo and Central African Republic but are now parked at Soroti Flying School, the minister said the support came late.

“How I wish they had done it in 2003 before thousands of our children were captured and walked into enslavement but I wish them well to capture Kony and his rebels,” he said.


RELATED STORIES

U.S. sending more forces, aircraft to fight Kony

Kony rebels reduced to 220 combatants - report

Will Joseph Kony finally come out?

Joseph Kony: altar boy to elusive rebel leader

Lango chief ‘ready to offer’ Kony land to resettle

President’s NRA apology late, says Bigombe

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Boy, 16, dies after mudslides hit house
A 16-year old boy died instantly after a heavy downpour instigated mudslides in Sheema district....
Woman leaps to her death at Workers House
A woman has been found dead at Workers House in Kampala in what is speculated to be a suicide case....
Gov’t launches residual spray against malaria
Government has launched the second phase of indoor residual spraying against malaria causing vectors in 14 more districts in Lango, Bukedi, Teso and Busoga sub regions....
Kawempe MP appeals to KCCA on evictions
MP Ssebuliba Mutumba appeals to KCCA to establish a plan for business people displaced by ongoing demolition of illegal structures in the city....
WHO eyes mass Ebola vaccines by mid-2015
Hundreds of thousands of Ebola vaccine doses could be rolled out to west Africa by the middle of 2015, the World Health Organization said Friday, after new cases of the virus were reported in New York and Mali....
KCCA demolishes structures in Wandegeya
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has demolished several illegal structures in Wandegeya in an operation which lasted for close to five hours....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter