Uganda’s unemployed recruited as rebels in DRC

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:57

One of the suspects was arrested by police as he allegedly ferried 12 unemployed Ugandan youths across the Bunagana border post, a frontier between Uganda and the DRC.

The recruits were reportedly promised high paying jobs, yet they were being forced to join rebel movements.

Uganda police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba told a press conference in Kampala that suspected rebel traffickers in the capital lured the youths by promising them lucrative jobs before sending them to camps of no-return in DRC to be trained as rebel fighters.

“We rescued 12 men who were being trafficked to Democratic Republic of Congo,” she said.

“They told us that each was promised $3,000 per month but on crossing the border, their mobile phones were confiscated and were told that they were to walk to a camp.”

The vast DRC has become a hub for rebels fighting government’s within the Great Lakes region.

Nabakooba also said that reliable intelligence reports led to the arrest of the recruiter by Ugandan security forces.

Reports from some districts in Uganda indicate that many youths have ended up in rebels camps.

One district in particular, Kibuku has reported over 300 missing youths. Other districts including Palisa, Budaka and Mayuge having also reported missing youths.

Observers say the high rate of unemployment has left many youths susceptible to trafficking or rebel recruitments. Unemployment rate among Uganda’s youth is more than 35 per cent.

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