Innovative projects for refugees, former child soldiers, and host communities in northern Uganda
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Jun 2012 29

Community reintegration in the news – more support needed!

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Last week, IRIN published a story emphasising the chronic under-funding for reintegration activities in Northern Uganda. An investigation has found that only 5,335 out of 26,288 ex-combatants granted amnesty have formally received reintegration support, with ministers citing a lack of funds. The need for reintegration activities (such as those GRG provides) is clear; Nathan Twinomugisha, principal legal officer with the amnesty commission,  explained, “Integration is a long process. It needs a personal touch and follow-up. We have to prepare them to ensure the stigma is off and the rebel mindset is rehabilitated. This is in order to help them fit into the community… They can easily re-offend and go back to commit rebellion.”
The dangers of not providing such support are also worrying; Lucy Lapoti, an advocacy officer for the amnesty commission, also told reporters, “We recently conducted a survey in the region to find out the number of former combatants who are inmates in prisons… We couldn’t believe that 42 percent of inmates are those from the bush… They are committing crimes as a result of frustration, being finger-pointed and provoked. Many of them are so aggressive.”
GRG has been working on community reintegration in northern Uganda since 2005, changing the lives of over 450 war-affected individuals through its innovative bottom-up approach to reconciliation. We are committed to continued support to ex-combatants and their communities, as the need remains great. If you want to support GRG’s activities, please do so here.

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