14 Rescued ADF Rebel Women Taken to Rehab in Kasese

ADF Rebel Women who were rescued by UPDF. PHOTO/COURTESY

Fourteen women have been successfully rescued from the clutches of the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This remarkable liberation was achieved through a joint operation conducted by the Ugandan Military, specifically the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), and the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The operation took place on Monday night and targeted an ADF splinter group led by the notorious Abu Wegas Kasi. The rescue mission unfolded at the confluence of River Talha and Semuliki, located in the North Kivu province.

Following their rescue, the fourteen women were transferred to Kasese district in Uganda for rehabilitation and care. At the rehabilitation center in Kilembequarters, Kasese Municipality, Mr. Christopher Kibanzanga, the team leader for the Presidential initiative on peace, security, and development in Rwenzori region and Eastern DR Congo, spoke to the press about the ongoing efforts to support the freed women. He shared that the team is currently collecting essential data and providing much-needed psychosocial support to aid in the healing process of the victims. Once their condition stabilizes, the women will be transferred to Kampala, the capital of Uganda, for further assistance and care.

In a compassionate move towards reintegration and reuniting the abductees with their families, Kibanzanga is consulting with the United Nations to explore the possibility of sending the rescued women back to their countries of origin in Congo and Burundi, among others. This effort seeks to restore the survivors’ lives and heal the wounds caused by their harrowing experience.

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Among those freed was the wife of Abu Wegas, the commander of the ADF. Like the others who were rescued, she described life in the rebellion as extremely difficult and harsh. The liberation of these women represents a ray of hope amid the darkness of captivity, and they expressed their deep gratitude to the UPDF for rescuing them from the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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As the efforts to restore the lives of these victims continue, the message from a former ADF rebel, Mr. Fenehasi Bwambale Kisokerano, adds an encouraging note. He urged those who are still in the rebellion and hiding in Congo to surrender themselves to the UPDF. He reminded them that they would receive amnesty in Uganda, offering a chance to leave behind their violent past and embrace a new life of peace and reconciliation.

The joint operation conducted by the UPDF and the DRC armed forces has not only led to the freedom of fourteen women but also sends a strong message to the ADF rebels that their atrocities will not be tolerated. The ongoing efforts to rehabilitate and support the rescued women demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of the survivors and provide hope for a brighter future beyond the horrors of captivity.

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