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Former LRA abductee: I want to go back to rescue my brothers

3 February 2017 - 14:02

Last week, Peter Kidega Okello returned to Uganda after escaping from a Lord’s Resistance Army camp in northern Darfur, Sudan. After being abducted as a child, he became an intelligence officer in the rebel group and served at the rank of Sergeant Major. On his return to Gulu, he told his story.

Abduction

“I was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army on the 1st of January 2003 from Kalongo Town [in Agago district] when I was going to buy meat from the shop. The rebels took me with six other people from the same area. By the time I was abducted, I was in senior one at Kalongo Secondary School.”

Life in the bush

“Life was at first normal and seemed easier in the bush. But it kept changing as the rebels were being driven out of Uganda. The rebels started going further to South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and now they are in Darfur in Sudan.

I learned different languages like Arabic, Lingala and Sangu while in captivity.

Currently life is extremely very hard. I believe that many children and rebels in the bush will continue to escape and come back home. There are still children in the bush and they come from various countries like the DRC, South Sudan, Uganda and CAR.”

Joseph Kony

“Kony is currently in the Darfur region of Sudan. I worked under him from 2014 until when I escaped. I would often see some Sudanese men who would visit and bring food and weapons to him.

I think Kony just wants to survive and be alive. He has no plans of coming back to take power, although he still says he is guided by the Holy Spirit. The number of armed soldiers with Kony at the moment is around 120. The army is composed of Congolese, South Sudanese, Ugandan and some from Central African Republic.

Kony never allowed people around him to listen to radio messages and read any fliers that were around.”

Escape

"On the 9th of October 2016 at 11pm together with other six people, I escaped from the camp of Joseph Kony in the Darfur region of Sudan. The six of us included three Ugandans, two from Central African Republic and a Congolese girl.

We walked the whole night and rested in the morning at 10 am. We didn’t know that Kony’s army was following us. They later attacked us and killed two of us: one Ugandan fellow known as Denis Okot from Pajimo in Kitgum district and another girl from the Central African Republic.”

Back home

“I want to work as a soldier and if possible join the UPDF so that I will be able to go back and rescue some of my brothers in the bush. I did not have any child with any woman in the bush, but when I was abducted, I had a pregnant girlfriend.”

According to Captain John Kamanja of the special investigations unit of the UPDF, Mr. Kidega surrendered to the Seleka rebels at a place called Samwanja, in the north of the Central African Republic. He is currently under the custody of the UPDF in Gulu where he will be under rehabilitation for before he is reintegrated into the community.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Comments

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Whereas its within your choice to do what you feel like, joining UPDF doesn't add up to anything. Start something different and forget about the guns. Before you, many people have tried and failed to rescue the abductees, unless you're God-sent, that would be hoping for far too much. However, the ball is in your hands.
In addition, asking the shop attendant for assist concerning the functioning of any of those sex toys is something most people are uncomfortable with.
You will scare your accomplice so badly that they may by no means have intercourse with you again.
it's has to be done as it's stil working, Domenic Ogwen Must Face Justics.
set him free because he was adpted and forced to join rebel group.
To me, dat is kony's trick , those people pretend that they surrendered kumbe they are on kony's mission. security take care
...God first
Oh! my God,we have been crying for children,i think even kony his self will come back b'se 40 dayz of lra rebelz have started coming slowly slowly.
Oh! my God,we have been crying for children,i think even kony his self will come back b'se 40 dayz of lra rebelz have started coming slowly slowly.
i know many LRA rebels wish to return home but they are staying conditionally in the bush, 1 day God wil hear ur cry
Let that man relux he shoudnt start decieving any one that rescuin my bros.Its a total lie"who of u dosent know a reble"is tryin to buy favour and again drop our broken hearts into sorrows again.Pliz rest at hom
God do wanders I thank u for the back of our bro
let him rest but not to give options
We thx GOD For Bringing u back home.why not to rest from work?
This man according to me, he should be handled with a spial eye cause you never know his motives with in his claim of joining UPDF to rescue the rest in bush.
Welcome back baragafar,UPDF should use him to find Kony
I thank God so much for bringing you back my brother.I am also from Lira Palwo Sub-Cty(Agago dist.) but currently i am in Kampala.NB.If you succeed in the post that you are requesting,don't be mr.Hare(change your mind).May God bless you contineously.
we thank God for returning home and we play that you may be able go resuce the rest of our brothers ,wellcome home,