MPs Call Off Trip To Central Africa Over Security Concerns

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In short
A trip that was organized for five legislators from Uganda to the Central African Republic (CAR) to ascertain the suffering caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels has been postponed over security concerns.

A trip that was organized for five legislators from Uganda to the Central African Republic (CAR) to ascertain the suffering caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels has been postponed over security concerns.
 
The trip, which was scheduled to take place on Friday, was postponed to a date yet to be established according to the Charity organization Invisible Children, which is in charge of facilitating the MPs’ travel.
 
Some of the legislators who were supposed to travel are Reagan Okumu the Aswa County MP, Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak county MP and three other members of parliament from western and central Uganda.
 
According to Olanya, a communication from the government of Central African Republic noted that the situation in the country was not good, adding that the MPs would visit when the security is guaranteed.
 
Early this year, the Seleka rebels overthrew the government of President Francois Bozize, an act that affected the hunt for LRA leader Joseph Kony. Since 2006, LRA have been hiding in the jungles in the DRC, Sudan and the Central African Republic from where they attack villages and commit atrocities against civilians.
 
Patrick Munduga, the Invisible Children’s regional technical advisor for central and East Africa, however, noted that the suspension of the travel was as a result of the procedures of acquiring travel documents for people with diplomatic passports.
 
Munduga said he is not aware of the particular reason why the journey was postponed but emphasized that it is because of the process of acquiring travel documents.
 
He says that many people are not aware of what is happening in CAR in as far as the LRA activities are concerned and thus a need to take the members of parliament.
 
In September last year, Invisible Children led a team of leaders from northern Uganda to Bangui in the Central African Republic to negotiate peace and ascertain the condition of people formerly held captive by the Lord’s Resistance Army. The team included Gulu Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Retired Kitgum Bishop Macleod Baker Ochola, Bishop Johnson Gakumba of the Diocese of Northern Uganda, the Acholi Khadi Sheikh Musa Khalil and Rwot Oywak Ywakamoi.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.