NOVEMBER 30, 2010: Amnesty Commission Boss Meets ADF Leaders

Amnesty Commission Boss Meets ADF Leaders

SOURCE: The New Vision

THE Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have met the chairman of the Amnesty Commission and reiterated their call for peace talks with the Government.

"They called us last month (November) and we have their document to be delivered to the Government," said justice Peter Onega.

Briefing journalists in Kampala last week on Thursday, Onega, flanked by Thomas Kisembo, the commissioner in-charge of western Uganda, said the ADF leaders gave them the document a week earlier.

"I will not tell you where we picked the document because this could jeopardise the confidence that has already been created with us," Onega said.

The document, whose contents were not disclosed, was signed by ADF spokesman Hamed Ashanje Mukasa, head of ADF operations Ashraff Lukwago, commandant Michael Lukwago, head of intelligence Abubakar Kagimu and head of Rwenzori operations Drani Bakule.

The rebels have camps on the slopes of Mount Rwenzori in the DR Congo.

Onega said the ADF leaders in 2008, as well as this year in July, contacted the Amnesty Commission to inform the Government of their desire for peace talks.

"I collected their letter which was signed by Yusuf Kabanda, the then ADF leader, who is now dead. Although the Government responded that they were willing to have the talks, things never moved because some people were doubting whether ADF were serious with the peace talks or whether the people indicated were genuine members of the ADF," Onega said.

He said ADF at the time offered to release children and women, with talks in progress.

"They even proposed that the talks be held in Kinshasa in DR Congo, and that the former Prime Minister of Cosovo be the mediator. They named ADF officials for the talks," Onega said.

He said the rebels had been persistent with their proposals and had given them permission to visit their camps in DR Congo.

The commission has so far granted amnesty to about 2,000 ADF insurgents.

The rebels are reportedly recruiting youth from Uganda and DR Congo.

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