Amnesty officials of the Amnesty Commission have implored Parliament to increase their budget so that they can ably meet their mandate.
Established by an Act of Parliament in 2000, the Amnesty Commission has among its duties, to demobilise, grant amnesty, resettle and reintegrate reporters; and to promote dialogue and reconciliation between government and warring factions.
“We have a challenge of inadequate funding to support demobilized persons with skills to earn a living once reintegrated with the community,” said Justice Peter Onega, the Chairperson, Amnesty Commission.
In his remarks to the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, on Thursday, 14th July 2016 at Parliament, Justice Onega explained that the Commission imparts demobilized persons skills in tailoring, motor mechanics, brick making, metal works, hair dressing among others so that they live a decent life upon reintegration into their communities.
On his part, Speaker Oulanyah promised to render the necessary support adding that the Amnesty Commission is a necessary institution to facilitate disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
“You have the backing of this Parliament and there is national support for this process,” Hon.Oulanyah told the delegation.
Commenting on the short lifespan of the Commission, the Deputy Speaker explained that there should be certainty and predictability in the amnesty process and proposed that it be pegged on the Transitional Justice Policy.
He urged the Amnesty Commission to engage Chairpersons and make submissions to them now that Parliament has constituted committees.
The Commission, whose current budget is Shs 2.36 billion, has to date demobilized 27,000 persons who have denounced rebellion and integrated them into their community. The current mandate of the Amnesty Commission expires in May 24, 2017.