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Civilians Told To Leave Kony Hideouts

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd May 2002 03:00 AM

SUDANESE authorities have ordered civilians to quit areas where Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels are currently holed up.

SUDANESE authorities have ordered civilians to quit areas where Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels are currently holed up.

By Felix Osike in Gulu SUDANESE authorities have ordered civilians to quit areas where Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels are currently holed up. The deputy operations commander “Operation iron First,” Col. Francis Okello, told a news conference in Gulu that the decision was taken to save civilians from Kony massacres and in preparation for a major offensive by the UPDF. “The governor of Juba has called on all the population of the Acholi mountain areas to run for safety to Torit, Magwi, Palotaka, Labone or into Uganda as operations in the mountain continues,” Okello said. He did not give the population in these areas. He said Kony and his fighters estimated to be between 1,500 to 2,000 fled to the mountains in an attempt to use the terrain as their defence. “We are fully prepared for this scenario. Our forces are not new to mountain warfare,” Okello said. He said two of Kony’s defensive positions in the mountains had been attacked with mortar fire, forcing LRA to attack the local population. He said the LRA accused the civilians of siding with the UPDF. He added that intelligence information received from Equator Defence Forces (EDF), a local militia in Southern Sudan, shows that at least 300 people had been killed since Kony fled to the mountains over a month ago. He said UPDF had a good relationship with EDF. Okello said LRA fighters were now at Katiri 40, miles from Uganda . Lt. Col. Mwesigwa and Maj. Kaija were present. Ends

Civilians Told To Leave Kony Hideouts

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