Monday, December 15, 2008

Govts of Uganda, Sudan and DR Congo today launch joint offensive against Uganda LRA rebels in DRC, Uganda says

Today, the governments of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan launched a joint military offensive against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) bases in Garamba, eastern Congo, an army spokesman said.

Let's hope this news is of a genuine effort to eradicate the LRA who have been on the rampage for more than 20 years, committing unspeakable crimes and atrocities that are far worse than anything that has happened in Darfur, W. Sudan.

Further details are here below in a report just in from the BBC and in a Factbox from Reuters giving some details about leader Joseph Kony and his LRA rebels, along with a profile by the Telegraph's David Blair and a recent photo of Kony who is estimated to have abducted more than 20,000 children to fight as footsoldiers in the LRA.

Also, here below is blog post and extract from an article on the LRA by freelance journalist Rob Crilly. The whole 2000 word article is up for sale. Rob does not mention a price but in the comments at his post at From The Frontline blog he says that he is open to offers. If anyone reading this is able to sponsor Rob's article for publication here at Uganda Watch (and its sister sites Sudan Watch and Congo Watch) please email me. I have spent over four years raising awareness of the LRA and would appreciate Rob's article being published asap in the hope of it being helpful to the poor forgotten people of Northern Uganda. No doubt Rob's article is very good. It needs to be shared as widely as possible. Here are just a few of the reasons why, in pictures:

See Sudan Watch, February 06, 2006: One of the world's most wanted men: Ugandan LRA terrorist group chief Joseph Kony flees Southern Sudan into DR Congo - UN calls NGOs into Kony hunt

Gulu victim

Photo: Gulu victim. The LRA use torture to instil fear. Uganda's rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has become synonymous with torture, abductions and killings. (BBC photo) from Sudan Watch archives.

Uganda1

Photo: Two young boy's get treated for severe burn wounds in the Lira hospital in northern Uganda, Feb 23, 2004, after a massacre believed to be committed by the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group in the Barlonyo camp 26 kilometers north of the town that killed at least 200 people. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo) from Sudan Watch archives.

Northern Uganda

Photo: Ochola John was deformed by rebels from Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (BBC) Read the victim's heartbreaking testimony: June 30 2006 Sudan Watch and Uganda Watch - LRA victim: 'I cannot forget and forgive'

ARMIES 'ATTACK UGANDA REBELS'
From the BBC Sunday, 14 December 2008 7:36 PM GMT:
Three African armies have launched a joint offensive against Ugandan rebels based in eastern DR Congo, military officials say in Uganda.

Uganda, DR Congo and the government of South Sudan reportedly moved against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the Garamba region of DR Congo.

LRA leader Joseph Kony, wanted by the International Criminal Court, has recently stalled on a peace deal.

The LRA has led a rebellion for more than 20 years in northern Uganda.

The fighting has displaced some two million people.

Uganda's government has been involved in lengthy peace negotiations with the LRA, but the rebels' leader has demanded that arrest warrants for him and his associates are dropped before any agreement can be struck.

A statement announcing the operation was released in the Ugandan capiital Kampala by the intelligence chiefs of all three armed forces.

The statement said the attack targeted the "terrorists" at their bases in the forested area of Garamba, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, AFP news agency said.

"The three armed forces successfully attacked the main body and destroyed the main camp of Kony, code-named camp Swahili, setting it on fire," the statement said.