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June 13, 2024
Kampala Daily

Gov’t to pay Shs 26.Billion to former West Nile rebel group members

The Ugandan government, under the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (MODVA), has announced the launch of a payment scheme for ex-combatants of the West Nile Bank Front (WNBF). Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs Hon. Huda Oleru Abason (MP) at a press conference, shared details the planned disbursement of funds and the historical context surrounding the payments.

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Following the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979, the West Nile region experienced significant unrest. Various rebel groups emerged, including the WNBF, led by Maj Gen Juma Oris Abdallah. The Ugandan government, led by President Yoweri Museveni, signed peace agreements with most of these groups, offering resettlement packages for ex-combatants as a key term.

Delayed Payments and Upcoming Disbursement

The WNBF was one of the few groups not to receive initial payments. In an effort to address this and bring closure to the conflict, the government has approved a total disbursement of Shs 26.2 billion. This amount will be distributed in two phases:

  • Phase 1 (Current): Shs 5.1 billion will be paid to 4,901 verified WNBF ex-combatants in May 2024.
  • Phase 2 (Future): Shs 21 billion will be allocated in the 2024/25 budget to compensate remaining members of the Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRFII) and other individuals.
Mobilization and Verification Process

Before the disbursement, the MODVA undertook a mobilization exercise in the West Nile districts to locate ex-combatants. Following verification, a list of 4,901 individuals was approved for the initial Shs 5.1 billion payment.

Government’s Commitment to Peace and Development

The minisyer emphasizes the NRM government’s commitment to supporting military veterans and achieving national harmony.

“The commencement of these payment should lay to rest the restlessness from some sections of the society in the West Nile sub-region to settle down and focus on wealth creation,” she said, adding that the the launch of the payment program wasa step towards achieving lasting peace and stability.

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