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Gen. Muhoozi To Meet Teso LRA Returnees, Arrow Boys Survivors – Minister Ecweru


By Steven Enatu




The State Minister in charge roads and transport also MP Amuria County has disclosed that twelve returnees of Lord Resistance Army together with some arrow boy’s survivors will meet first Son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.


Hon Musa Francis Ecweru, a former arrow boy commander made this revelation while speaking to the media on the 17th Aug 2023 after the Muhoozi Baraza in Teso.


During the Baraza, Ecweru took to the podium and narrated how the first son helped the then auxiliary Arrow boy force in flashing out the LRA rebels in a fierce battle.


He said Muhoozi as a major by then did a lot using his unit that had around 200 soldiers together with the arrow boys to capture the LRA rebel leader, Tabuley and subsequent return of 12 young children who managed to escape captivity.


In the fierce battle with the rebels, Ecweru noted that through Muhoozi, he ordered war planes that enabled the rescue of the 12 children.


“I found Muhoozi in the battle but it was fierce and the rebels were persisting so I asked him for more reinforcement in terms of weapons. Through him, the father, the commander in chief of armed forces who was at the tactical base here in Soroti then sent three war planes. The children were then able to sense that I think it’s the other side, so they ran towards us, soldiers wanted to shoot but an order came that they seemed to be people who were held captive. They reached and one girl fainted before the general. All these children are alive and are graduates in different fields. I am happy he has accepted to meet them,” he narrated.


According to Ecweru, by reminding the general during the Baraza about the 12 children who were rescued before him, the 12 will now have an opportunity together with arrow boy’s survivors to meet General Muhoozi in State House.


“I had come to make sure I speak to the general about those children, they have grown all and have graduated. These children are many but I mentioned before him the twelve to remind him but others are there and they are like my children now,” Ecweru said.



LRA abducted a number of learners and people in Teso by then and according to Ecweru, over one thousand could still be missing.


“Some children have not returned from Lwala, Aoja, Aitoi primary school with 600 learners and other places. After the war, we discovered that some children were drowned in the river. Because the people were using the river Alito to cross to Otuke, they were not using the bridge. I have been arguing with the parents to make a painful decision of forgetting about the children and leaving them in the hands of God. If they are still alive, they will return” Former Arrow boy commander stressed painfully.


Government of Uganda through the Uganda people’s defense force is still in the lookout for the LRA leader Joseph Kony and recently UPDF repatriated former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels and their family members back to Uganda from the Central African Republic (CAR).


About the arrow boys

In 2003, the LRA entered Teso, in eastern Uganda, and Ecweru, then a Resident District Commissioner in Kasese in the west, was seized by a desire to protect his homeland.


He left Kasese and drove to Soroti, in the Teso sub-region, where he met an old contact, Captain Mike Mukula, a pilot and then health minister and MP for Soroti; John Eresu, then MP for Kaberamaido; and a collection of local politicians, administrators and church leaders to discuss what to do.


The local leaders concluded that the government security forces were not in a position to repel the LRA. At the time, Teso was considered relatively peaceful, and the army was occupied fighting Kony in Acholiland, that’s when the idea of arrow boys, an auxiliary force came in to protect the homeland. Ecweru recalls that the arrow boys force had 8000 people. “We were given 7014 guns, after the war, the government demobilized us since the group was not permanent and pensionable,” he said.


He said from the 8000, 2000 were absorbed into the Uganda police force and still serving up to now. Later another batch of 2000 were also absorbed into UPDF, a group that was taken to Somalia and captured a city there.


“4000 remained, and I was told to recommend 600 more into the force, they were taken to Somalia and now they are back into UPDF,” he said.

This means that approximately 3400 are at home.


“My appeal to government is that if these ones could be entered in the list of veterans, we have pushed this even in cabinet and there is a minute to that effect but since the group was not Permanent and pensionable, the ministry of defense and veterans affairs to meet up few arrow boys and get the list of all the arrow boys men who are still alive and get those who have died and registered names of their children and women” he said.

Foreseeing how the government is financially stretched, Ecweru said this process would take them time to yield results.

“The issue may reach defense and they say there is no money. That’s why I reiterated that before the general and the first son. So he has told me two things, one the twelve returnees he wants to see them in Kampala and he has also told me that he plans to meet 20 arrow boys in Kampala soon,” he said.

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