Uganda says most LRA rebels relocated to DR Congo
The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) has said about 95 per cent of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in southern Sudan have relocated to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The UPDF 5th Division spokesman, Lt Chris Magezi, told Xinhua by telephone on Friday 5 May that most of the rebels have crossed to the DRC to join rebel leader Joseph Kony and his deputy Vincent Otti who are believed to be hiding in the jungles of Garamba National Park, eastern DRC.
"About 95 per cent of the LRA are now hiding in the DRC after our hot pursuit in southern Sudan," said Magezi.
He noted that there just a few remnants that are remaining in southern Sudan which the rebels used as their base to launch attacks against the Ugandan government, in a rebellion that has left tens of thousands of people dead.
"Our forces in southern Sudan have made major successes in wiping out these rebels. And because of our fire power, they are fleeing to the DRC," Magezi added.
UPDF spokesman, Maj Felix Kulaigye told Xinhua by telephone on Friday that Defence Minister Amama Mbabazi had returned from Sudan where he had gone to meet President Omar Al-Bashir and the UN Khartoum team to reach a regional mechanism to handle the LRA.
President Yoweri Museveni said on Thursday that there is need for the government to work in conjunction with the Sudanese government, the Sudanese People's Liberation Army and the United Nations Force in the DRC (MONUC) in ending the war in northern Uganda.
The Ugandan military said recently if Kony and his 150 armed combatants are given a safe haven in the DRC, they could build up and become a regional problem.
According to Minister Mbabazi, Uganda is to send defence and foreign affairs officials to meet the DRC authorities on how the two neighbouring countries can wipe out LRA rebels.
"It is a matter we are pushing with vigour and we are sure to receive positive reports," Mbabazi said shortly before leaving for the Khartoum meeting.
About two weeks ago, the Ugandan government proposed to the UN Security Council to allow the UPDF pursue the LRA rebels in the DRC.
Last week, the DRC government said UPDF soldiers were sighted on its territory pursuing the LRA, a thing the Ugandan army denied.
The LRA rebels have been fighting the Ugandan government for the last 20 years in a rebellion that has left tens of thousands of people dead and over 1.4 million people living in internally displaced persons camps in northern Uganda.