By Milton Olupot, Chris Ocowun and Denis Ojwee
REBELS of the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army (LRA) on Thursday morning attacked the Sudan Peopleâ€™s Liberation Army (SPLA) camp at Nabanga, killing 21 people.
The UPDF regional spokesman based in the north, Capt. Ronald Kakurungu, confirmed the LRA raid on the SPLA camp, adding that one of the dead was a SPLA major only identified as Majier.
He said that the estimated 100 LRA rebels also burnt the SPLA camp before heading back to Ri-Kwangba.
The attack comes amid new developments that the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony has reinstated his peace negotiating team chairman Dr David Nyakorach Matsanga, in an attempt to save the collapsed peace talks with the Government.
Matsanga told the Saturday Vision on phone from Nairobi yesterday that his new mandate was to put back the peace deal process on road and organise for the signing of the final peace agreement.
The peace talks broke down on April 10 after the elusive rebel leader delayed signing a final deal, casting doubt on the fate of nearly two years of negotiations.
He asked mediators to clarify part of the text in the peace agreement and then fired Matsanga, the head of his negotiating team and replaced him with Dr James Obita.
Matsanga, however, denied that he was fired, saying he quit after a delay in signing the deal. He told a press conference yesterday morning that he could not continue misleading the public on issues of Kony.
Matsanga yesterday said, â€œKony has called me and said he now understands all that is in the agreement and wants me to conclude the peace deal by signing the final peace agreement.â€
â€œI have spoken to UN Envoy Joaquim Chissano and got him back into talking terms with Kony. I am waiting to speak to Southern Sudanese Vice President and Chief Madiator Dr Riek Machar,â€ he said. The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces army Spokesman, Maj. Paddy Ankunda confirmed the attack.
â€œIt is very unfortunate that the LRA attacked and killed people even including innocent people in Nabangaâ€, Ankunda said.
Speaking briefly over a French International radio last evening, Kony claimed that it was the SPLA forces that attacked the LRA position first and the LRA only had to react to hit back.
Among the dead are women, children and SPLA fighters.