In June this year, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Jane Frances Abodo, withdrew all charges against the accused. According to the Western Region Amnesty Commission coordinator, Ronald Ssakatawa, they are encouraging all persons engaged in rebel activities to come out and abandon them.
Mumbere commended the efforts of security agencies in combating the ADF rebels but emphasized the need for close collaboration with the local community to ensure the total defeat of such groups. He highlighted that the insecurity caused by rebel elements poses a significant threat to peace and the general development of Rwenzori.
Nyakiyumbu Sub-county chairperson Sunday Peter Kakule says that the idea of having local vigilantes would work best for them due to the several porous border points that the suspected rebels have taken advantage of to attack local communities in Kasese.
Speaking to URN in Kasese, the District Resident Commissioner, Lt. Joe Walusimbi, emphasized that they are actively mobilizing the community to be vigilant and to report any individuals they suspect of criminal activity or collaboration with criminals.
Army spokesperson Brig Felix Kulayigye says that a joint team of UPDF, Uganda Police Force and Uganda Wildlife Authority personnel have been deployed to track down the attackers. He noted that these isolated cases are used by ADF as a tactic to divert the UPDF who are pursuing them in DRC.
Moses Tsutsu , the LC III chairperson of Isango sub-county says the community that does business and farming across the border has abandoned its work fearing that the suspected rebels could waylay them.
Major General Dick Olum, the overall commander of Operation Shujja, emphasized that the rescued individuals would undergo rehabilitation before their complete reintegration into their respective communities.
Thirteen out of the 17 bodies were successfully matched with their families and subsequently handed over to their respective families for burial. However, despite multiple DNA tests, efforts to identify the parents of the remaining four bodies have been unsuccessful.
Maj. Bilal Katamba, the Operation Shujja and Mountain Division Spokesperson says that the trio was killed on Monday when the joint forces came across a group of approximately 10-15 suspected ADF militants in the areas of Talia and Tingwe.
The State Minister for Sports Peter Ogwang, representing the government, stated that efforts would continue to identify the remaining four unidentified bodies and ensure proper burials for them. The government has also provided 5 million shillings to each of the 16 affected families.
Jocknus Kakundere, the LC 1 chairperson of Mwende Cell, Kisinga Town Council emphasized the convenience of using a smartphone to pass information discreetly and swiftly in the event of their areas being invaded by undesirable elements.
The Director of Forensic Services at the Uganda Police Force, Andrew Mubiru, said that they are remaining with six bodies whose DNA samples did not match with those of the parents. He says that the police would take more samples from other relatives in order to identify these bodies.