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Ugandan Amnesty Commission ready to receive LRA rebels
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21:01, December 18, 2008

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Ugandan Amnesty Commission has announced on Wednesday that it was ready to receive the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, local media reported on Thursday.

Moses Draku, the commission spokesman, was quoted by the state-owned New Vision daily saying the commission had alerted all its reception centers to receive LRA escapees or those surrendering because of Operation Lightning Thunder launched on Dec. 14.

He said the commission was also ready to pick stranded deserters as long as they notified the commission or its reception centers in the north and western parts of the East African country.

Draku also gave the commission's telephone contact as +256-414-257-118, on which those LRA rebels who want to surrender or be granted amnesty can call.

He said reception centers like World Vision in Gulu, Gulu Support the Children Organization (GUSCO), Concerned Parent's Association and Kitgum Women's Association were working with the commission.

Other cooperative reception centers are Food for the Hungry, CARITAS in Apac, Christian Children's Fund (CCF) in Pader and GiveMe a Chance in Kasese district.

The spokesman also assured LRA rebels, who want to surrender, that they would be protected.

"They should not fear. We shall resettle them because we recently got funds from the World Bank under the Uganda Emergency Demobilization and Resettlement Program," he said.

According to a recent report by the Amnesty Commission, Ugandan government has granted amnesty to a total of 22,930 ex-rebels under the Amnesty Act since 2003.

The Amnesty Commission was established by Ugandan government under the Amnesty Act of 2000 to offer amnesty to those Ugandans, who denounced armed rebellion.

The LRA insurgency, one of Africa's longest running conflicts, has killed tens of thousands of people and left some two million people homeless in northern Uganda.

The LRA has more recently targeted towns and villages in the DR Congo and Central African Republic, abducting hundreds of local residents this year to forcefully recruit them into the rebel group.

Source: Xinhua

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