Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sudan government troops to join hands with Uganda to force out LRA

From China's People's Daily Online 5 Sep 2005:

The Sudanese government said on Sunday it is working with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Ugandan government to remove the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from Southern Sudan.

In a press statement, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail termed the southern Sudan-based LRA as "a terrorist group which would harm Sudan as well as Uganda."

"Contacts are underway between Sudan and Uganda at the level of the presidency and Ministry of Defence to banish any existence of the LRA inside the Sudanese lands," Mustafa said.

LRA rebels have killed over tens of thousands of civilians and displaced over 1.4 million people in their 19-year rebellion in northern Uganda.

Kampala and Khartoum signed an agreement in 2002 to allow the Ugandan government troops to launch cross-border operations against the LRA, which has several bases in southern Sudan.

In the statement, the top Sudanese diplomat pointed out that after the signature of a comprehensive peace agreement between the Sudanese government and SPLM in January, the southern government is responsible for the south's security.

The government of Khartoum, however, has taken the responsibility of protecting Sudan's borders and defending the national security including the south, he added.

Source: Xinhua

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