How Rape Suspect Ended Up In ADF Rebel Camp

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Ocen says on a day he can’t recall, he and more than 25 other people lured for the job embarked on a journey from Kampala at 10am in a bus to Kasese Town and later crossed into DRC through Bwera Border post.
Patrick Ocen a former ADF fighter after being arrested in Orom Subcounty on Wednesday.Photo By Julius Ocungi

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In March last year, Patrick Ocen then aged 19, allegedly under the influence of alcohol beat up an elderly woman to coma before raping her in Akilok South Village in Okuti Parish in Orom Sub-County in Kitgum District. 

Fearing the consequences of his action, Ocen reportedly fled to his uncle’s residency, a short distance from their home where he hid for three weeks before traveling to Kitgum Municipality.

He would later take on another journey to Kampala City that would see him get lured into joining the Allied Democratic Forces [ADF], a rebel outfit operating in the Jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC].

After a year and half being away from home, Ocen sneaked back to his home village in Akilok South recently where he got arrested by security some four days ago.

Ocen, the last born in a family of four spoke to URN in an interview on the journey that led him into the hands of one of the most feared rebel groups in East Africa.

Now 20 years-old, Ocen says after escaping from his home village last year, he traveled to Owino Market in Kampala where he teamed up with another colleague to work as casual laborers loading boxes of tomatoes in trucks.

According to Ocen, while working in Owino Market, they were approached by some men whose identity he can’t recall with an exciting offer of a well-paying job in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC].

“Some people came to us and told us there is a good job in DRC. Six of my colleagues whom we used to work with refused the job but I and another colleague accepted to go,” he said.  

Ocen says on a day he can’t recall, he and more than 25 other people lured for the job embarked on a journey from Kampala at 10am in a bus to Kasese Town and later crossed into DRC through Bwera Border post.

He says although he didn’t possess any valid travel document, he was able to pass successfully through the border post until their final destination into a jungle at about 5:30 pm, where he later learnt was an ADF rebel camp.


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Cue out………….camo dek dong” //

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According to Ocen, after recuperating from the long journey, they were handed guns the next day without any basic training on weapon handling and told to use it for toppling Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame.

He says their base was in a jungle in Kisangani Tshopo’s Province and often they would be sent to neighboring Rwanda to loot food and abduct new fighters.

Ocen says he only participated in raids in Rwanda three times because he feared the heavy gunfire exchanges that usually left many of his colleagues dead.

“Our commanders always sent us to raid foodstuff in Rwanda. But the government troops are good shooters sometimes 15 of my colleagues ended up dead in such raids. I avoided such raids, whenever I was sent and sneaked back to the base,” he said.

Ocen says their commanders avoided raids in Ugandan territory, saying Uganda People’s Defense [UPDF] soldiers are brave fighters and have gunship helicopters.

After months of fighting in the jungle, Ocen says he was rewarded with US$400 while his other colleagues received between US$ 600 to 900 depending on their duration in the rebel camps.

He however says after realizing the job wasn’t paying as promised, he and a friend decided to escape in January this year but were intercepted by Congolese government troops who took their money before handing them over to Ugandan authorities in Kasese district.    

Ocen claims he was interrogated and tortured for two months [between January and March] by security personnel at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence [CMI] and later detained at the Police Special Investigation Unit in Kireka before being released this month. 

They were handed Shillings 40,000 for transport to Kitgum District, according to Ocen.


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Brig Richard Kareimere, the UPDF Spokesperson confirmed to URN that Ocen was indeed interrogated and was released on police bond.

“It’s true Patrick Ocen was released on Police Bond,” Brig Kareimere stated in a phone message this morning. He  didn't divulge details of his release.

He however wondered why he was rearrested by security in Kitgum District.

Robert Ogen, the Officer in charge of Criminal Investigation at Kitgum Central Police station, says they are holding the suspect pending further investigation.

He says the suspect was arrested on orders of Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, William Komakech in connection to an earlier rape case he committed and another related to his involvement in ADF rebel activities.

In April this year, eight children from Purongo Sub-county in Nwoya District were rescued by CMI operatives in Kasese District while being ferried to suspected ADF camps in DRC. 

In Lamwo District, several youth were lured into rebel activities in neighboring South Sudan with promises of getting jobs in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan-UNMISS.