Friday, August 14, 2009

LRA rebels will not return to Uganda despite fresh attacks in DR Congo -Uganda

From The New Vision, Uganda by Henry Mukasa, 11 August 2009 (via AllAfrica)
Uganda: 'Uganda Safe From LRA'
Kampala — LRA rebels will not return to Uganda despite fresh attacks in DR Congo, the army has said. Army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces were "on the guard" and no LRA fighters would be allowed to sneak back and cause havoc in the north.

"Take it from me, whatever the LRA does in Congo, they will never cross back to Uganda. Any attempts to cross back have been taken care of. Our people should rest assured that peace will be maintained," Kulayigye said in a telephone interview.

He was responding to reports by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Friday that the LRA had launched an "unprecedented" 55 attacks in north-eastern Congo last month, forcing about 12,500 civilians to flee their homes.

The UN agency observed that the rampage by the LRA was targeted at the Faradje area in Orientale province, about 100km west of the country's border with Southern Sudan and Uganda.

"The humanitarian situation in this remote part of the DRC remains pathetic. Most of the internally displaced people are unable to return home because of the ongoing assaults," said Andrej Mahecic, the agency's spokesman.

He said the insecurity was hidering delivery of aid supplies such as food, blankets, sleeping mats and cooking sets to the IDPs.

He added that the agency had only been able to reach about 45% of the displaced. The LRA rebel activities and mounting violence has also led to an increase in Congolese civilians seeking refuge in Sudan.

Out of 21,000 refugees in Southern Sudan, 16,500 arrived since last November from Orientale province.

The LRA fought an atrocious war in Uganda, killing thousands and displacing about 1.5 million people to IDP camps.

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