Acellam, an LRA senior commander, his wife Gladys Adongo, his daughter and another girl were alledgely captured by the UPDF along the banks of River Mbou in the Central African Republic (CAR) on May 13th 2012.
Nighty Akot 23 was until her return in 2010, a former bush wife to Maj. Gen. Caesar Acellam who is currently under UPDF detention at 4th DIV. Barracks in Gulu.
Akot who has a child with Acellam says that the government must promote a peaceful end to the conflict by ensuring that those who surrender or are captured are pardoned so that those others left behind can be encouraged to do the same. She talked to Acholi Times correspondent Ojok James Onono.
‘I can’t believe Caesar Acellam would wait all this long for the Uganda People’s Defense Force to capture him while in the bush. Acellam had been contemplating to surrender but the problem was that he was being closely monitored by Joseph Kony while I was with him in the bush,’ said Akot.
“I left him in May 2010 when the UPDF attacked our base in Jemba in Central Africa Republic (CAR), I was shot in my right knee and right hand, that is how I was captured but Caesar Acellam managed to escape during the attack.’”
“Acellam was mainly tasked with handling recruits and abductees and sometime taking care of LRA sick bay, he wasn’t too much into operations. That is why he often fell out with Joseph Kony on the insurmountable killings of LRA rebels.”
“He was one time in 2004 disarmed by Joseph Kony and put under arrest because he deliberately failed to order LRA raids in Amuru IDP camp, and again in 2008 while in Congo, Acellam advised Kony against civilians killings.’
‘By the time I was captured, Acellam looked depressed, he would often cry a lot when left alone. A lot was in his mind.’
‘He is unlucky, he was captured when the amnesty law has now expired, he looks worried of facing court.’
‘May be government will spare him but I am doubtful, they should forgive him like other LRA commanders.’
‘Trying him in court will not change the past, people have been massacred, children abducted, people displaced and it ever remain as it happened, no amount of court hearing will ever change that or bring back the dead.’
‘I delivered a child with him, but that was not my wish. During war so many things happen therefore we should let go the past.’
‘I was his wife from the age of 14 years shortly after I was abducted from Amuru and I delivered a child with him while in Congo.’
‘His parents wanted me to hand over my daughter I delivered with Acellam but I can’t. That is my child, not their child. They don’t know the pain I went through while giving birth to the child while in the bush.’
‘I now have another husband, Sam Oryem who rides a boda-boda in Gulu town. He has paid for my dowry of Shs1.5 million, two cows, four goats and three chickens.’
‘In fact when Sam proposed to marry me, I was hesitant but he insisted and he looked sincere. I couldn’t resist him, that is how we all started and I am his wife now.’
‘He is taking care of Acellam’s daughter; Sam has no problems with the child because a child is innocent.’
‘Sam who also narrowly survived being abducted by Acellam in Amuru has no problem with Acellam.’
‘I met Acellam last Monday where he is being detained in Gulu; I told him I can’t be his wife again.” ‘That is when Acellam broke down into tears asking for forgiveness.’
‘I have no problem with him because I am finally back home and alive.’
‘My new husband is very supportive, he has open two hectares of groundnuts, an acre of cassava and another hectare of beans in my new home in Bar-Dege in Gulu.’
‘I have undertaken training in bakery from here in Gulu. I hope to start baking bread to sell when I raise capital from my husband’s harvest during the harvesting season.’
”The removal of the pardon from the provisions of the Amnesty Act is ill intentioned, let there be the law to forgive those who can be forgiven. In fact the law has stimulated desertion in the LRA. It is a shame it is not there anymore.”
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