Special Reports

UPDF Seize LRA Commander

website like this http://celiac-disease.com/wp-includes/class-oembed.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Army Spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said the fighter was seized on Monday after a huge battle between UPDF commandos and the rebels of warlord Joseph Kony.

“The battle took place 20km West of Bakuma which is about 500km West of Obo, UPDF’s tactical base,” said Ankunda on Tuesday.

“The force was also able to rescue ten abductees including seven children. Three guns, one Walkie Talkie radio and dozens of loose ammunition were recovered.”

Okello’s capture is a big blow to the LRA and evidence that UPDF are making significant progress in complete annihilation of the deadly insurgents.

Earlier in the week, another LRA Commander 2Lt James Onen surrendered to a UPDF detach at Zombo in Arua.

Ankunda says Onen also confessed that three of his colleagues with their guns defected and went straight to their homes in Arua.

The AURTF Force Commander Brig Sam Kavuma noted: “Rescuing abducted children is the Easter Gift we give to their parents. We will not relent until Kony is captured and all children rescued”.

Huge blow

Invisible Children recently reported that the year 2013 was a significant blow to the Joseph Kony commanded Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) operations in Eastern DRC and Central African Republic.

The year saw the rebel group lose 20 percent of its Ugandan fighting forces through defection – about 32 of the 160 – which the report describe as utterly irreplaceable.

The Counter LRA programs manager Mr Sean Poole said that Invisible Children in partnership with US military and other NGOs had launched peaceful defection campaigns targeting these LRA fighters.

These campaigns he said, contributed immensely to the surrendering of the Ugandan fighters causing a significant blow to the LRA’s core fighting capacity.

At least 62 women and children who had been held captive for decades by the rebel forces also returned home in Northern Uganda last year.

The body had been persuading them via radio messages following the restoration of Radio Uganda shortwave signals in the Congo and CAR forests.

Military helicopters, according to Ankunda, also hovered around dropping leaflets containing persuasive and reconciliatory messages to the fighters.

Mr Poole, however, noted that these achievements are not to be widely celebrated adding the ultimate focus should be on ridding the rebel Commager Joseph Kony as well as ensuring that all those who defected or rescued are comprehensively reintegrated back into society.

The US recently dispatched more planes to search for Kony who is believed to be hiding in a densely-forested area around the borders of South Sudan, CAR and Sudan.

The AURTF is mandated by the African Union to restore peace and stability in the Central African Republic.

Uganda, together with DRC and Central African Republic constitute the Regional Task Force.


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