Activists warn of possible rise of new West Nile rebel group

Yumbe District | THE BLACK EXAMINER | A group of political activists, operating under the banner of the West Nile Pro-reform Agenda (WENPRA) in Yumbe District, have issued a warning regarding the potential resurgence of a rebel group in the West Nile Sub-region. Their concerns center around former combatants, particularly members of the defunct Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF II), who were not adequately compensated.

Sheikh Muzamil Musa Alumgbu and Mr. Andruga Batta, both affiliated with WENPRA, have emphasized that the trouble could arise from dissatisfied UNRF II members, including those led by Brig Rajab Ayiga Ayile, who were excluded from the government’s truce in December 2002. These individuals, according to Mr. Andruga, are not mere robbers but rebels with a history in South Sudan and require blanket amnesty.

Members of WENPRA have submitted a petition to the Amnesty Commission, urging them to recognize Brig Ayiga’s group and facilitate their resettlement. The petition highlights that Brig Ayiga voluntarily surrendered, with the promise of amnesty from the President, but this promise remains unfulfilled.

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Recent reports indicate an attack by a rebel group in Romogi Sub-county, prompting concerns that unresolved issues could lead Brig Ayiga’s group to attract more followers and potentially escalate into a deadly insurgency.

Col (rtd) Obitre Gama, Chairman of the Amnesty Commission in North West Nile, acknowledged receiving the petition and is studying it. Maj Telesphor Mwirima Nduhira, the UPDF 4th Division spokesperson, stated that he is not aware of Brig Ayiga’s arrest but assured that any rebels seeking amnesty will be handled strategically.

The history of rebel groups in West Nile includes Gen Moses Ali’s Uganda National Rescue Front, which fought the Obote II regime, and Gen Ali Bamuze’s Uganda National Rescue Front II, an offshoot of the West Nile Bank Front (WNBF), which signed a peace agreement in 2002. The terms of the agreement included the incorporation of a UNRF II battalion into the Ugandan army and compensation of Shs4.2 billion to the group.

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Source: DAILY MONITOR

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