Top LRA Commander Surrenders


rx geneva; font-size: small;”>Lt Col’ Sam Opio gave in to UPDF in Central African Republic on Wednesday.

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Army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda told Chimpreports, “Opio surrendered today with three guns.”

He further pointed out the fugitive who was among LRA’s top leadership was accompanied by “two fighters, a boy and two women.”

Opio was received by the head of the Ugandan contigent in CAR, Col Michael Kabango.

The latest incident comes just two months after UPDF captured Lt Charles Okello following a deadly battle in the western part of Bakuma located about 500km West of Obo, UPDF’s tactical base.

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 at Bakuma.

Ankunda told this website on Wednesday night that Opio “has been a big fish in the lake so this is going to worsen the state of LRA.”

LRA on its knees

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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