30 Ex-ADF Combatants to Be Reunited with Their Families

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30 ex-Allied Defence Forces (ADF) combatants and victims are set to be reunited with their families.

The individuals, comprising 13 from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and 17 from Uganda, are part of the third cohort of ex-ADF combatants and victims.

According to Amnesty Commission Principal Public Relations Officer Moses Draku, while speaking to the media on June 20, 2024, at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya, the ex-combatants have been undergoing rehabilitation at the Bridgeway Foundation.

While speaking to the ex-combatants, Draku cautioned them to behave well and follow government laws upon their return to their respective communities.

He further encouraged them to utilise their acquired skills from the Bridgeway Foundation in order to improve their standards of living.

Draku also thanked the foundation for supporting the rehabilitation of ex-ADF combatants and victims by equipping them with skills to transform their lives.

Bridgeway Foundation Project Manager Tumwebaze Noah noted that the ex-combatants had undergone a four-month rehabilitation programme, acquiring skills like baking, tailoring, mechanics, craft-making, and spiritual counselling aimed at correcting the wrong ideology.

Tumwebaze also issued a warning to Ugandans not to fall prey to ADF recruitment tactics, promising jobs abroad.

He pledged that the foundation will continue supporting the individuals even after they are reunited with their families by enrolling them in formal education and vocational schools.

During the release event, five ex-ADF combatants received Amnesty certificates, and additionally, the Bridgeway Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs to rehabilitate captured combatants and equip them with skills before reuniting them with their families.

The Amnesty Commission also praised the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) for their outstanding efforts in restoring peace in the eastern part of the DRC.

Present at the release event were the Deputy Director of Public Information, Col. Deo Akiiki, and representatives from the Amnesty Commission and Bridgeway Foundation, among others.

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