Rwenzururu amnesty offer extended

Sunday April 02 2017
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Warned. Rwenzururu loyalists at one of the shrines in kasese District last year. The loyalist have been added 16 days to surrender. PHOTO BY MORIS MUMBERE

Kasese. Following the expiry of the 30 days ultimatum given to remnants of Rwenzururu loyalists, more 16 days have been added to allow them come out of their hideouts or face assault by security forces.
The Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Mr James Mwesigye, while receiving three recovered police guns last week at Kasangali Market in Bwesumbu Sub-county, announced the extension of the deadline to April 18 for security operatives to launch another offensive into Rwenzori Mountain to flash out those believed to be hiding there.

The new amnesty extension came after the area sub-county chairperson, Mr Samson Bagenda, and the district vice chairperson, Mr Elly Masereka Magwara, appealed for more days since the one month deadline was ending.
“Since the major problem was recovering the guns which we have here, I want to request the RDC to give us more time to bring back our people who ran away…,” Mr Magwara said
Mr Mwesigye accepted by extending the ultimatum by 16 days emphasizing that, those in hiding should either come out or security operatives hunt them down.
“We shall not remain on one thing of surrendering; we also have our bosses whom we report to and want progress over the matter. …You know what it means when we swing into action,” he said.

Since November 26, 2016 when government security officers engaged with Rwenzururu loyalists in a bloody offensive that left hundreds dead, others arrested, including King Charles Mumbere, government announced amnesty to all the loyalists who went into hiding to return to their homes.
But four months down the road, only 17 of them have surrendered to security in Busongora North, the stronghold of Rwenzururu Kingdom while more than 200 reported from other parts of the district, especially Bukonzo West.
Mr Mwesiye criticised the loyalists from Busongora North over refusing to surrender to security forces as compared to their colleagues in other constituencies.
However, Mr Josephat Mbakania, one of the residents, tasked the RDC to explain why they were giving amnesty to some loyalists yet others are facing the law.

“How are we going to welcome and stay with those who killed our people if you are telling everyone to surrender?” Mbakania asked.
Mr Mwesigye reasoned that not all royal guards participated in the killings.
More than 300 loyalists have surrendered to security operatives in Kasese and Kabarole districts since last year but many more are believed to have crossed to DR Congo, Bundibugyo, Mubende and other areas.

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