Government through Amnesty Commission has started rewarding former Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in Kasese District as a way of demobilising, rehabilitating and reintegrating those who denounced rebellion and benefited from amnesty.
About 50 of the 106 ex-combatants in Mahango Sub-county, Kasese District, on Wednesday received vanilla seeds from Amnesty Commission to improve the social economic status.
Commissioner Msgr Thomas Kisembo told Daily Monitor on Wednesday that the Commission is targeting 800 returnees from Kasese and Bundibugyo districts in Rwenzori Sub-region.
"We have given out 2,000 vanilla seeds to 50 returnees and each has received 40 crops. Many more will be given in October," Msgr Kisembo said.
He revealed that Kasese has 600 ex-rebels who surrendered out of the 7,000 pending reintegration in the whole country.
"Our intervention is demand driven. We used to give them inputs like oranges which did not do well and they asked for vanilla," he added.
Msgr Kisembo appealed to those engaged in rebel activities in DR Congo to surrender to Amnesty offices in Beni so that they can receive certificates.
"We are aware that there are 400 to 500 active soldiers and 1,000 non-essentials including children, women and the elderly, reason we established our offices in Beni. We are asking parents to warn their children not to join rebel activities" he said. Mr Reuben Biryongwe, 60, a resident of Kyampara Village, Mahango Sub-county, who received vanilla said: "Apart from suffering, there is nothing good in the bush."
"I willingly joined the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) rebellion in 1993, where I spent four years but the life I found there was not good. I want to assure you that it is not a good job but rather suffering only," Mr Biryongwe said. He is now focusing on constructing a home and educating his children.
Mr Eric Muhasa, the Mahango Sub-county chairperson, warned residents against rebel activities and asked them to use vanilla to change their lives.
He pledged security to vanilla farmers in the area.