On 14 May 2018, Uganda's court on International Crimes began hearing the pretrial of Jimil Mukulu, the leader Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels. Upon getting out of the Uganda Prsions Service bus, Mukulu began shouting on top of his voice that he is not a murderer. According to Uganda's law the suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty by competent courts of law.
I will leave it for courts to decide Jamil's fate. But a mere mention of ADF rebels, triggers sad memories in the minds of many people of Rwenzori who suffered at the hands of this rebel outfit between 1996 and early 2000s.
Who in Rwenzori doesn't know the death and suffering that resulted from ADF rebels cowardly attacks on unarmed civilians. They would kill people by hitting them on heads with hoes (akapuni) just like pigs are killed. Human beings were slaughtered like goats with sadistic glee.
Lives were destroyed by Jamil's rebels. Children lost parents and their innocence to humiliating internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Families were broken down. Education of thousands of Rwenzori children was interrupted. Many young girls were defiled in camps. People especially the youthful ones were abducted by these rebels. The rebels looted people's food, shops, goats, chickens, cattle, etc.
Our people were humiliated by ADF rebels' ruthless attacks. For years, hiding from these wicked rebels became part of routine life for many Rwenzori mountain dwellers. Esyombisu - those small mama ingiya pole tent-like grass thatched huts tucked in between the thickest bushes became part and parcel of our lives providing cover from the inhumane rebels. Sometimes it would rain and one had to brave the wet shrubs to find way to the embisu -the bush hide out lest the rebels find you...
May justice prevail.