Amnesty chief encourages rebel surrenders

Uganda’s Amnesty Commission chief Justice Onega has said that rebels convicted of treason are eligible for pardon under the government’s amnesty initiative, the ‘New Vision’ reported on Wednesday. Onega said that convicts would have to sever all links with Ugandan rebel groups operating in the north and west of the country in order to take advantage of the government’s year-long amnesty offer. “People formally charged with offences, and in lawful detention, have to declare to the prison officer or magistrate before whom they were tried that they have renounced the rebellion and want to apply for amnesty,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Speaking at the Commission’s western regional headquarters in Kasese, Onega advised active rebels who wanted to surrender to report to their nearest army or police unit chief, a government leader or a religious leader within the community. “They would then surrender any weapon in their possession and be issued with an amnesty certificate,” he said. The Amnesty Commission had opened offices to receive rebels in Kasese, Gulu, Arua, and Kitgum, and would soon open another in Mbale, Onega added. The Commission is charged with implementing the amnesty, offered by the government to former and present rebels.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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