Ugandan President calls on African leaders to end LRA rebels’ reign in CAR

January 31, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

EPA photo

 

By

Gloria Nakiyimba

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni wants regional leaders to allow military commands to jointly work out a plan to flush out remnants of the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA and put an end to the suffering of the civilian population in Central African Republic.

According to President Museveni, the LRA have been downgraded, and there is now a need for counter insurgency, for mobile forces to go in to hunt the terrorists by foot and chopper.

“Once we receive credible intelligence information, we must move in day and night and hunt them down. After, we must have a zonal force which remains there. The force must be disciplined not killing, looting, raping women or talking badly to the people. This will give confidence and security to the people,” Museveni said.

He was speaking at meeting of regional leaders held at the sidelines of the ongoing 28th Ordinary AU heads of State and government Summit, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

 

He told leaders that the capacity of the LRA has been diminished, and they no long ambush troops and try to fight as the case was in the past.

“Are they attacking troops in camp? No. Are they attacking troops on the move? No. The LRA no longer has that capacity” he said.

The regional leaders are frustrated that despite a strong regional effort to deal with Joseph Kony and his LRA, the lack of a decisive action to deal with the remnants has led the insurgency force to continue wreaking havoc on civilian populations.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir told his counterparts that the LRA and other negative forces have contributed tremendously to the refugee influx in Uganda.

The President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra said since the operation in Garamba forests, the LRA broke out in several groups creating havoc in the region. He noted that despite their capability being reduced due to the presence of the regional force, essential activities of the LRA still happen in CAR and the embargo on CAR arms has made it difficult for the country to reinforce its security.

Mr. Museveni notes that the rebel outfit has been weakened and now attacking soft targets.

“That is not strength; it is a weakness but it embarrasses governments because then they are not protecting their people enough. This is dangerous because it still attacks civilian populations.”

 

 

The meeting chaired by President Yoweri Museveni was attended by Faustin-Archange Touadéra the President of the Central African Republic, and   South Sudan leader Salva Kiir. Ministers from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, representatives of United Nations, European Union, USA, and African Union also attended the meeting in Ethiopia.

President Museveni urged the international community to support the regional force to flush out the LRA remnants and put an end to the war by supporting their efforts through reinforcements of multiplier forces like helicopters, airlifts, a disciplined army, relief and aid support and infrastructure for both populations and army to move.

It is estimated that a force of between 150 – 200 LRA  armed fighters are still active in the DRC, CAR and South Sudan. The group is based in the thick Garamba forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They hunt down animals for ivory and loot gold and other minerals from miners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster KubutakaRadio.com.

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