Submit Press release  · eTN Team ·  Advertising  ·  eTN Awards  - Worldtourism Events    

African Rebels

The hunt is on for LRA rebels

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Africa  Dec 16, 2008

News have just broken that Ugandan army units, The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) troops and apparently even Congolese units are now attacking the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel bases deep inside Congo. For months at end have the rebel chiefs tried to delay talks, stood up international envoys and missed one meeting and signing ceremony after the other, all with apparently no sanctions or repercussions at all, while living off princely allowances provided by countries supporting the peace process.

The LRA has been terrorizing the Northern Ugandan population for years and become notorious for abducting thousands of young boys and girls, turning them into rebels and sex slaves, but also for cruelties like cutting victims noses, lips and ears off as “punishment.”

Several major massacres are also laid on the rebels, in which hundreds of innocent villagers were burnt and butchered by the rebels. Their entire leadership is under indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and wanted for trial, although going by experience with their stubbornness it seems more likely that they are now facing the same fate as Savimbi and his goons in Angola, who could also not lay down arms and live in peace with the rest of their fellow countrymen and countrywomen.

Patience in Uganda and Southern Sudan has finally run out with the key players in the equation. No longer apparently are the rebels militarily off limits as was the case during the sham peace talks, as a combined force is now hunting for them, supported reportedly by airborne units and helicopter gunships.

The Khartoum regime, meanwhile, was warned off not to stir up any trouble, as they were long suspected to have given sanctuary and support to the rebels (prior to signing a peace agreement themselves with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) for the Southern Sudan), before military pressure forced the rebels then to withdraw into Congo, first the Garamba National Park – where they decimated wildlife to sell rhino horns and ivory – and then to further away bases near the border with the Central African Republic.

Khartoum has in recent days been massing troops in South Kordofan, near the demarcation line with the South, ostensibly to prevent an imagined rebel attack from Darfur, which is generally perceived to be a far fetched excuse for adding unilaterally more troops into the volatile area near Abyei, which is an oil rich state claimed by the South and disputed by Khartoum and has been a hot spot in relations between the South and the regime in the North. However, in view of the latest military action against the LRA, there may well be an ulterior motive behind these maneuvers.

It is hoped that the ongoing military action will be swift and decisive and either catch and deliver the rebels to the ICC in The Hague or else solve the problem with military means.

The hunt is on for LRA rebels

Premium Partners