Museveni apologises for army atrocities

Thursday October 25 2012
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President Museveni lays a wreath on the coffin of Tiberio Okeny at his home in Kitgum District on Wednesday. PHOTO BY JAMES ERIKU.

Kitgum

President Museveni has finally bowed to pressure from locals and leaders in northern Uganda for the government that the openly apologise for the massacres orchestrated by the army during two decades of insurgency in the region.

Their wishes became reality on Wednesday when the President said the government, particularly the NRA/NRM is sorry for the sporadic mass killings in the region by its forces during the LRA war.

The President made the remark during the burial of the former deputy Democratic Party leader Tiberio Okeny at his home in Kitgum District. The locals had earlier said an apology for the killings of their relatives would help heal the bitter memories and pave way for reconciliation.

Some of the heinous killings the army committed in the region include massacres in Buchoro in Awach Sub-county, Namokora and Mucwini in Kitgum District, among others, where hundreds of civilians were allegedly collected together and shot and others beaten to death by the then NRA after labelling them rebel collaborators.

“NRA /NRM has mistakes but also has the capacity to correct those mistakes, not like the UPC. The UPC party of Otunnu has had numerous (mistakes),” Mr Museveni said, blaming the acts on the ‘bad’ elements in the force despite the force also having good people.

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The then NRA also arrested and detained several political leaders in the region, including Tiberio Okeny and late Lord Andrew Adimola on suspicion that they were collaborating with rebels.

“The good thing, however, was that the court system came and acquitted them of the allegations against them, that’s why they gained their freedom until their last days,” Mr Museveni said.

He, however, expressed dissatisfaction with what he described as failure of good elements at the time to join the government to closely work together and address problems affecting the people.

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