Regional defence chiefs plot Kony end
Publish Date: Jun 02, 2008
Newvision Archive
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By Alfred Wasike
and Joshua Kato

REGIONAL military chiefs are meeting in Kampala to design a military strategy to wipe out the Lord's Resistance Army rebels from the Great Lakes region.

“We are focusing on the LRA and must end its terrorism,” said the head of the Ugandan delegation, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima.

Describing the matter as a regional threat that required a regional solution, Nyakairima added: “We are here to discuss and plan a military option to the problem.”

Presidents Joseph Kabila of the DR Congo and Yoweri Museveni, Nyakairima said, directed him to call the meeting after they held talks in Dar es Salaam recently.

Sources from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which is attending the closed meeting for the first time, said the LRA had “rearmed, had been training and was ready to attack again”.

In response, Uganda and the South Sudan government resolved to support the Congo army to rout the rebels. The UN Mission in Congo also supports the strategy, the sources added.

The US declared LRA a terrorist organisation following the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, by Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda fighters.

Nyakairima said LRA had become an international force since they had recruited fighters from the Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic.

“They are like Al-Qaeda. The question is, since Kony is a Ugandan, why bother Congo and South Sudan? It is because of the international nature of the terrorism.”

The military push follows the last minute collapse of peace talks in the southern Sudanese town of Juba in April. “Our experience proved that Kony was not going to sign that peace agreement. He has behaved like that since 1993. He fears peace,” Nyakairima said.

The general argued that as long as Kony had a “safe sanctuary” in Congo’s Garamba national park, he would continue to have a “huge appetite to commit atrocities”.

In his remarks, Gen. Dieudonne Amuli said his forces were committed to working with other regional forces to eradicate “all the negative forces” in Congo.

SPLA chief Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak said LRA crossed to Congo with the help of Khartoum. He said the LRA had recruited thousands from the DRC.

“They are not training them to fight Uganda only. They are training them to fight the DR Congo and Sudan.”

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