Kampala bus conductor arrested for trafficking refugee children to join DRC rebels

Security in Nakivale refugee settlement in Isingiro District has arrested a Baby Coach bus conductor for allegedly aiding refugee children escape from the refugee camp to join rebel ranks inside the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, Faridah Nabakooza,37 a resident of Bulenga in Wakiso district was arrested after trafficking five children to join a rebel group inside DRC named, Twirwaneho, loosely translated as lets us defend ourselves.

“At around 6am on November, 6, Nabakooza was handed five children and was supposed to drop them somewhere inside DRC. Lucky enough, two children escaped,” Enanga said.

The police spokesperson said preliminary investigations indicate that the conductor could have done this for a long time until she ran out of luck this time round.

“She could be a collaborator of the rebel group in one way or the others because she knew where to drop them. We condemn these acts of trafficking children but also enlisting them among rebel ranks. She will be arraigned before courts of law.”

Enanga noted that whereas two of the five children escaped, the hunt is on for the remaining three who are suspected to have been handed over to rebels or their collaborators inside DRC.

In the past, there has been increased activity of recruiting children from various parts of Uganda into rebel ranks inside the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For example it is reported that ADF relies heavily on recruiting children especially from Ugandan into the rebel ranks and these are trained in fighting and later sent for operations.

The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2009 criminalizes sex trafficking and labor trafficking with a punishment of up to life imprisonment for those involving child victims.

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