The former United Nations
Undersecretary- General, Dr. Olara
Otunnu has today returned to Uganda after spending 23 years in exile in the United
States of America. Otunnu ran to exile in 1986 after President Museveni and his National Resistance Army
over threw the then government of the fallen President of Uganda, Tito Okello Lutwa.
is the President of LBL Foundation for Children, a New York-based independent
international organization devoted to promoting protection, hope, healing and
education for children in communities devastated by war. From
the Ugandan capital, Kampala, the former diplomat told VOA that he was excited
to be home. “Obviously it is a joyful occasion. I am simply overwhelmed – being
on Ugandan soil again, with Ugandan people”. He added that he was moved and
humbled by the welcome he received.
Otunnu said he was met by a small group
of elders at the airport because the police did not allow in many people. He later
met the rest of the people at a nearby hotel.
the little I have seen so far, Entebbe hasn’t changed that much; I am now in Kampala
where I see that the hills surrounding the city are dotted with more buildings
and construction but otherwise I can recognize what I see, it is very familiar
terrain”, said Otunnu who hails from Kitgum district
in Northern Uganda.
He said he
travelled to Uganda without a Ugandan passport but hopes to get one now that he
is in Uganda where people are demanding that his rights be respected. “I have
not had a Ugandan passport for the last 23 years. However, I did come with passport
application forms, already filled out, and I handed them to the authorities at Entebbe
Otunnu said he is
in Uganda where he will tour various parts of the country to meet people, to listen
and to learn. “I am eager to work with fellow Ugandans who are yearning for
change, who want to take back their country, a country which has been hijacked
by little tiny cliques”.
Asked about his
security, he said it is the responsibility of the president [Yoweri Museveni]
to ensure security for all Ugandans. “I am entrusting my security to him and I
hope he will assume his responsibility in that regard”.