NEBBI. The Action Aid gender-based shelter branch in Nebbi is stuck with a 30-year-old woman who escaped from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) captivity from the Central African Republic (CAR).
Ms Justine Apio escaped with her 2-year-old girl whom she delivered under captivity in the bush.
Ms Grace Maditkwo, the Nebbi Action Aid psychosocial support officer noted that for the past two weeks, Apio has been sheltered at their office in Nebbi.
She, however, noted that it has become difficult to handle Apio because she is failing to cope up with life outside captivity.
“This is the first case of this kind and it is getting more difficult to help Apio because of her character. I think she needs special care and all I need, is for this woman to be taken to their shelter in Lira because I can no longer handle her case,” Maditkwo said.
She observed that when interrogated, Apio explained that she escaped from captivity sometime back and walked for four weeks until she collapsed and was later picked up by a lorry driver who dropped her in Oryang cell, Nebbi Municipality.
Mr James Thopacu, the LCI chairman Oryang cell said it is not yet clear how Apio got to his cell only that he was called by a soldier who handed her over to him.
“I was advised to take her to the police but when I reached the police, I was told that the police don't handle such cases. I was later told to take Apio home and give her temporary shelter and that is when I decided to take her to the gender-based shelter,” Thopacu said.
But Mr Bob Williams Labeja, the Nebbi resident district commissioner promised that government is going to support Apio as they organise to take her to Lira where she can get professional help.
“We are working hard to see that we get support from the central government so that Apio can be taken to Lira as soon as possible because if we keep her here for long, it will not be good for her and the child," Labeja said.
According to Apio, she was abducted when she was 5-years-old from South Sudan where she was staying with her aunt and since then, she has been in CAR.
While in CAR, Apio said she produced 5 children and managed to escape with only one leaving behind others for fear of being re-captured by the rebels.
Apio, a born of Mr Julius Odongo and Ms Apolonia Muding, hails from Ojwina village in Lira district.