Peacekeeping: December 18, 2003


While the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (known by its French acronym MONUC) is charged with stabilizing postwar Congo, they have also had some success with defusing some of Uganda's decades-old problems.

Thanks to the work of the UN and an Ugandan amnesty commission, the last batch of 200 West Nile Bank Front (WNBF) fighters arrived at Entebbe International Airport aboard two United Nations planes. The WNBF leader, Taban Amin, was a son of the late former Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. The unarmed ex-rebels were received by Ugandan security officers, then driven in a convoy of UN vehicles to an undisclosed location.

That made a total of over 600 WNBF fighters who had returned to Uganda from their Congo base in Kitona. The first batch of the ex-rebels arrived in November and Taban returned home in October, ending a 24-year self-imposed exile. He then pledged to work with the Government to fight the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

The tricky part for the Ugandan government will be to ensure the security of the returning former fighters, since some of them have committed atrocities in their communities. Some of the returnees had served in ex-president Amin's regime in 1971-1979. - Adam Geibel


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