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ADF Offers To Surrender

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th December 2001 03:00 AM

THE Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels may have finally come to the end of the road.

By Geoffrey Kamali THE Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels may have finally come to the end of the road. After a rough six years of fighting the unrelenting UPDF troops in the jungles of the Rwenzoris and eastern DR Congo, the battered rebels last week sent emissaries to the UPDF, offering to surrender. “We need to come out but we don’t know what handicaps we are going to find,” the rebels said in a hand-written letter to the UPDF. They also had another letter of apology signed by their “commander”. They said they wanted to benefit from the amnesty the Government has offered to all rebels. The five emissaries, four of them teenage girls and a man, were received by the 305 Brigade commander, Lt. Col. David Kaboyo, in Kagadi where they were paraded before the press yesterday. “We know it very well that our elder, the President, has forgiven us but due to the bad habits we have in Hoima, they are still frightening us,” the letter said. It was not clear who is ‘frightening’ the rebels from giving in. The ADF has been operating from Bugoma forest in Hoima district since 1998 when they infiltrated the area, fleeing a UPDF offensive in the Semliki region. The apology letter was signed by Bazanyanengo Mustafa. Kaboyo, however, said the group is commanded by Onyango Kirya. The group looked exhausted, with unkempt hair. Their leader, ‘Dr.’ Tom Otto alias Siraje Bogere, had a limp. He said he was injured in fighting last year. They said they would be listening to Radio Uganda for the government’s response for their return. They said their leaders had scattered due to the UPDF offensive against them. Kaboyo told reporters in Kagadi yesterday, “If they come out as they have indicated, then that may be the last group in this area. My work will be accomplished.” Present at the press briefing at Kagadi UPDF detachment, was also the area deputy RDC, Lilian Katushabe Kamba and the UPDF spokesman, Maj. Shaban Banatariza. Others were former ADF chief of staff, Chris Tushabe alias Commander Benz, who has been helping the UPDF to rout ADF remnants in the region. A 16-year old girl, Margaret Mbabazi alias Idesi Rwabambara, abducted from her home in Yordani in Rugashari subcounty, Kibaale district in June 2000, was part of the group. “I want to go back home to school,” she said, tearfully. She said while in the bush, she was married to one Muzamiru, who is also awaiting the amnesty. The others are Juliet Katushabe, 18, Mabaale Ahaisibwe Odiya, 18, and Annet Twikirize,18, who were abducted from Mangoma, Rugashari and Yordani, Kibaale district. Kaboyo said the group would be rehabilitated before reuniting them with their parents. Ends

ADF Offers To Surrender

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