By Sandra Birungi
As fighters from Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continue to defect from the army which has terrorized Uganda for over 20 years, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) promised to grant safe passage for them.
UPDF has promised they will not attack the defecting fighters as they surrender to the United Nations (UN). On Monday, UN announced a decision reached by over 1,200 LRA fighters to defect from the group. In a statement, UN said it would be sending a delegation to Bria, Central African Republic (CAR) to investigate if the defections are genuine or not.
The investigators will investigate the reports of a possible large defection and disarmament of a group within the LRA. The group will consist of UN Integrated Bureau for Peace Consolidation in CAR (BINUCA) led by Gen. Babacar Gueye and they are to travel to Nzako, where LRA fighters have started handing over their weapons to the authorities.
Uganda’s Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Katumba Wamala said although it is not the first time LRA has offered to abandon rebellion, Uganda will wait to see their resolve when they come out. “It’s not the first time. We will not attack them if they come out to surrender to UN. We will be saving lives. If this is happening, we shall not oppose them,” said Gen. Katumba.