“Government to probe alleged atrocities of NRA in Eastern Uganda” – President

Friday 6th April 2012

President Yoweri Museveni has said that the government will conduct investigations on all atrocities allegedly committed by the then National Resistance Army (NRA) during the period of insecurity in Eastern and Northern Uganda in the 1980’s in a spirit of embracing national reconciliation. He, however, stressed that the anti-government groups also need to do the same as they are implicated in many of the atrocities meted out on the people in those areas. He noted that it is only when this is done that meaningful national reconciliation will be appreciated.

The President was yesterday speaking at the memorial service for the late John William Eluru, an educationist and priest, who was killed after being ambushed on his way from Soroti to Mbale in March 1987. The memorial service took place at the deceased’s ancestral home in Amusus Parish in Amuria district, Teso Sub-Region.

The late Eluru was father to former Women Member of Parliament for Katakwi district, Ms. Rhoda Acen, who is currently a Presidential Advisor on National Agricultural and Advisory Services (NAADS) programme.

The President said that as the insecurity is over and the country is experiencing total peace, there is a need to investigate all that took place during that period so that we work for national reconciliation and peace and focus on developing our country.

He, however, made it clear that atrocities committed against civilians and non-combatants, should not be shelved but investigated and those responsible be handled in accordance with the law. He urged all leaders to embrace the reconciliation process noting that this was the way forward for Uganda.

The President thanked the people of Amuria district for voting the National Resistance Movement Party in big numbers unlike in the previous elections. He appealed to the old supporters of the Party to welcome the new members saying that they work to increase further the strength of the Party.

“My job as a Movement leader is to always pull people to my political religion but I am always misunderstood by some Movement supporters. Please, endeavour to welcome this new force; it strengthens the Party”, Mr. Museveni said.

He, therefore, asked the Movement supporters who lost in the elections and those who were elected, to work together as a family for the benefit of the Party and development of Uganda.

In his sermon during the memorial service, Soroti Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. George William Erwau, said that Ugandans need to embrace reconciliation, forgiveness and work to promote peace and unity. He warned that if Ugandans go on to harbor hatred, the country will not easily move forward for development. He called on all those still opposing government to welcome the reconciliation gesture extended by the President and stamp the legacy of reconciliation on Uganda for the future generations to emulate.

Former MP Rhoda Acen, daughter to the late Eluru, described her late father as a humble, religious, brave, loving and disciplined man of God who treasured peace and harmony who strongly touched by the plight of the disadvantaged.

Earlier, President Museveni commissioned the John William Eluru Senior Secondary School in Kapelebyong County where he planted a tree and also laid a foundation stone for the construction of the girls’ and boys’ dormitories respectively.

He pledged to expand the school in memory of the late Eluru who he described as a great teacher who made a lot of contribution to the education sector. Mr. Museveni reiterated his call to parents of the area not to overburden their children with household work during school days in order to enable them concentrate on their studies.

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