Monday, March 15, 2010

Malicious Rumors of LRA in Darfur Undermine Peace in Sudan

Press Release
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan:
Malicious Rumors of LRA in Darfur Undermine Peace in Sudan

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2010 /via PRNewswire-USNewswire
Outrageous rumors about Uganda's "Lords Resistance Army" (LRA) apparently relocating to South Darfur to establish a safe haven in the region have suddenly cropped up. The source alleges that the Sudanese government is abetting the embattled group, which is purportedly in need of regrouping. The intention of these malicious speculations isn't in the least bit difficult to discern. It's a desperate and feeble attempt at yet again maligning the Sudanese Government and undermining the progress made towards peace. It is indeed convenient and most opportune for the enemies of peace in Sudan to peddle such alarming news, for it is clear they've lost the battle of Darfur as peace is at last dawning in that region, and now are in frantic search for a novel pretext that allows them to perpetuate their military-interventionist campaign in Sudan.

Foremost, they should remember that the Sudanese Army has long signed a protocol with the Ugandan Government that enables the latter to freely pursue the rebel group within the Sudanese territory where the border with Uganda lies. This is a clear and unequivocal declaration of support by Sudan to the Ugandan Government in this urgent matter of security, and hence perplexing to read the statements attributed to President Musevini. Secondly, the Sudan People's Liberation Army has been actively engaged in military operations against the LRA in that region, including one operation in which it coordinated efforts with Ugandan and Congolese forces. It is therefore utterly absurd to claim that the Government is sustaining the very problem it is clearly plotting to eradicate.

Moreover, to believe that the LRA trekked all the way to Darfur to establish itself is an insult to common sense and betrays a lack of fundamental knowledge of the geography of the region. The LRA is a rebellion force primarily against the Ugandan Government, not Sudan. Its operations target Uganda, a country situated nowhere close to the area of Darfur it is alleged to have moved to. The risks in launching its operations from such an extensive distance are profound given the many forces going after it, including international ones. It would be nothing short of a fatal error for the group to commit to such an elementary course of action. Besides, Darfur is the site of a vigorous campaign for peace where effort to pacify all armed groups is underway and therefore isn't the ideal region for any such malignant groups.

Sudan has made a vow to combat terrorism in all its forms and has accordingly marshaled the necessary resources to fight it. Its record, which continues to be noted by the U.S., with which it has joined forces in this effort, speaks to the level of its commitment. Having identified and defined the LRA as a rogue and outlaw group that terrorizes citizens, including some incidents with our own, Sudan has an obligation to pursue the dismantling of this group and has so been doing. And any rumors that insinuate otherwise are simply malicious and detrimental to the wider peace efforts in the country and the region.

CONTACT: Embassy of Sudan Press and Information Office, phone: +1-202-338-8565, or fax: +1-202-667-2406

SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan

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