Abducted Ugandans in Sudan Back Home
Five women and their five children, abducted by Uganda's Lord's Resistace Army (LRA) rebels and taken to Sudan, flew back to Uganda on Wednesday from Khartoum, a UN official told AFP.
"The group flew in on Wednesday morning at nine o'clock (0600 GMT)," the official who asked not to be named said.
Six other Ugandans abducted as children by the LRA returned to Uganda at the weekend.
The LRA operates out of bases in government-held territory southern Sudan. Its main method of recruitment is abduction.
According to UN figures, 10,000 children and young people have been abducted in the past five years of brutal insurgency.
"All the group who returned were linked to the LRA in some way although it is not clear if they have been fighters," the official told AFP. He added that the group looked "remarkably healthy".
The women and their children will later Wednesday be flown to the northern Ugandan towns of Gulu and Kitgum, where they will be given counseling.
They will be accompanied on the trip back home by UNICEF officials and the deputy Canadian high commissioner (ambassador) to Kenya.
Canada is funding part of the repatriation process. On December 18 last year Uganda and Sudan signed an agreement in which they promised to facilitate the repatriation of those abducted by the LRA.
Ugandan government officials have complained that of those who have returned were freed by force from LRA camps but were either picked from hospitals in the Sudanese capital Khartoum or the southern Sudanese town of Juba or escaped.
Foreign ministers from Uganda, Sudan, Libya and Egypt are currently meeting in Kampala in a bid to normalize relations between Kampala and Khartoum.
Ugandan and Sudan severed diplomatic relations in 1995 after each country accused the other of supporting its rebel groups.
Sudan accuses Uganda of supporting the southern Sudanese rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) – KAMPALA (AFP)
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