The Uganda Peopleâ€™s Defence Forces have started aerial bombing of the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels using helicopter gunships
The Uganda Peopleâ€™s Defence Forces have started aerial bombing of the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels using helicopter gunships. Civilians in Gulu, Pader and Kitgum districts have welcomed the armyâ€™s new strategy.
The residents said the gunships bombardment was positive and had overwhelming results. They said it had reduced the number of rebels, led to the recovery of many abductees and forced some combatants to surrender.
Nine LRA rebels were killed on Sunday evening in an on-spot helicopter bombardment in Atoo Hills, nine miles northeast of Gulu town. Twelve captives were rescued by the UPDF during the bombing that started at 6:00pm.
This brings to 31 the number of Kony rebels killed and 182 abductees rescued by the UPDF since it started using the helicopter gunships on September 2.
The UPDF northern operations intelligence officer, Lt. Col. Charles Otema-Awany, said at least nine rebels were found dead following a preliminary search of the bombarded areas by the UPDF ground troops on Sunday evening.
Otema said the dispersed rebels, under the command of Odiambo, were about 100 combatants.
Meanwhile, the army on Sunday destroyed two suspected rebel hideouts in Okwang sub-county in Lira district and Oret in Puranga sub-county, Pader district, sending the rebels into disarray.
Military and security sources in Pader said at least seven rebels were killed in the two air raids and that 18 abductees were rescued and some guns recovered.
Pader RDC Amaitum Emojong confirmed the UPDF attack in Oret but said he had got no details by press time.
Security sources said the UPDF shelled Abarjobi areas in Okwang, forcing the marauding rebels to flee towards Omot and Odokomit in Pader district.
The LRA rebels on October 4 attacked Omoro trading centre, Moroto county in Lira district, abducted 20 people, burnt two pick-up trucks and looted goods from the shops.
One of the vehicles belonged to Ricky Akeny, the former MP for Moroto county.
Jacob Okello from Puranga said yesterday that the September 26 helicopter bombardment on an LRA training camp at Lamin-Cwida in Puranga Pader district killed many rebels and helped many captives to escape.
â€œWe were told by some of the escapees that the rebels fear the helicopter gunships more than they fear the UPDF soldiers. We wish this bombardment continues.
â€œIt will bring an end to this Kony war that has sent many people into internally displaced personsâ€™ camps,â€ Okello said.
Gulu RDC Max Omeda said, â€œThe helicopter bombardment of the LRA by the UPDF is really successful. It is yielding good fruits, killing rebels and assisting many abductees to escape from captivity.
â€œIt is even blocking the rebels from trying to cross into southern Sudan with abductees,â€ Omeda said.
The RDC said Sudan was also bombing the LRA rebels in southern Sudan, where they used to hide and train the abductees.
He said over 1,064 captives had been rescued in Gulu. He said the military order to civilians to move to camps did not target all people in Acholi but those in remote areas prone to rebel attacks.
Gunships Bomb LRA