By Raymond Baguma
A top commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been killed by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) in Central African Republic along with 13 fighters.
The UPDF deputy spokesperson Major Robert Ngabirano said that Col. Samuel Kangul although hitherto not publicly known, has been a seasoned fighter who commanded LRA raids in northern Uganda before 2005.
The UPDF working on intelligence and information supplied by the US Special Forces laid an ambush on a group of LRA fighters who were commanded by Colonel Samuel Kangul on Thursday.
About 100 U.S. Special Forces are helping African troops from South Sudan, DR Congo, Uganda and CAR, to hunt down the LRA leader Joseph Kony and his commanders, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Colonel Kangul, believed to be number four in the LRA leadership hierarchy, was leading a group estimated to have about 30 fighters, to join up with another group led by Kony’s deputy, Dominic Ongwen.
The group was intercepted at a crossing on River Vovodo. A total of 14 LRA fighters were killed while others drowned in the fast flowing river. UPDF said that there were no casualties on the army’s side.
According to Ngabirano, UPDF also recovered items from the LRA which included satellite phones, SIM cards, GPS gadgets, sub machine guns and over 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
Kangul, in his 40s, has been behind the spread of messages of Kony’s willingness to surrender, which had enabled the group to secure fresh supplies from CAR authorities.
According to Ngabirano, Kangul was set to link up with Ongwen in order to receive new orders to carry out fresh attacks.
He said that Kangul’s death is significant because it has boosted the morale of UPDF troops serving under the anti-LRA regional taskforce.
Ngabirano said that Kangul’s body was buried on the battlefront on the banks of the river, not far from where the skirmish had taken place.