Congo Watch: The Bulk of Kony's infrastructure in Garamba was destroyed yesterday - Ugandan air force says joint operation against LRA bases in DR Congo continues

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Bulk of Kony's infrastructure in Garamba was destroyed yesterday - Ugandan air force says joint operation against LRA bases in DR Congo continues

The Ugandan air force started bombing LRA bases in Garamba National Park in northeastern Congo yesterday after rebels last month failed to sign a peace agreement negotiated in 2006, military spokesman Paddy Ankunda said in a phone interview from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, today.

“The joint operations against LRA are still continuing,” Ankunda said. “DRC is coordinating the raid and we don’t know when it will end.”

Source: December 15, 2008 Bloomberg report by Fred Ojambo. Copy:
UGANDAN AIR FORCE SAYS RAIDS ON REBEL BASES IN CONGO CONTINUE

The Ugandan military is carrying out air raids on Lord’s Resistance Army rebels based in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the support of the DRC and South Sudan, an army spokesman said.

The Ugandan air force started bombing LRA bases in Garamba National Park in northeastern Congo yesterday after rebels last month failed to sign a peace agreement negotiated in 2006, military spokesman Paddy Ankunda said in a phone interview from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, today.

The Ugandan army hasn’t determined when to end the operation, coordinated with the Congolese army, and neither has it received details of casualties from the raids, the spokesman said.

“The joint operations against LRA are still continuing,” Ankunda said. “DRC is coordinating the raid and we don’t know when it will end.”

Rebel leader Joseph Kony refused to sign the peace agreement, demanding that the International Criminal Court first withdraw war crimes charges against him.

The Uganda government referred Kony and his commanders to the court, which indicted them in 2005, after they had fled to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Uganda started negotiations with the rebel movement in July 2006 with the mediation of the South Sudan government in an attempt to end a war which has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than 1.5 million people.

Kony, who is holed up in the jungles of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, didn’t attend the talks in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, for fear of being arrested for crimes against humanity under the ICC warrant.

His rebel movement, which claims to represent the Acholi people, the dominant tribe in northern Uganda, says it wants to the country to be governed according to the Bible’s Ten Commandments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.
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LRA SPOKESMAN CALLED GOSS VP RIEK MACHAR TO WARN HIM THAT IF THE REPORTED ATTACK WERE TRUE, IT WOULD BE AN ESCALATION OF THE WAR

David Nyekorach Matsanga, chief peace negotiator for the LRA, told VOA that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was using an attack against the LRA as a pretext to invade eastern Congo for that country's resources.

"We condemned this action of a few military people in the government of Uganda who are using this as a pretext to invade Congo. They have now taking their positions in Congo to loot the minerals, to loot the diamonds, to loot the timber, and everything in Congo. But that attack has taken place, the consequences are going to very dear, and the world is going to regret why this has taken place and they watched it," he said.

Source: Monday, December 15, 2008 Voice of America report by James Butty, Washington, D.C. Copy:
UGANDA REBEL SPOKESMAN CONDEMNS REPORTED ATTACK ON LRA CAMP

A spokesman for Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels has said that if reports of an attack on LRA positions are true, it would be disastrous for the peace process and the people of northern Uganda.

Reports Sunday quoted three central African governments – Uganda, Southern Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo - as saying their armies launched a joint offensive against an LRA base in the Garamba forests of eastern Congo.

The three countries said in a joint statement that their forces destroyed the main camp of LRA leader Joseph Kony and set it on fire. There was no immediate word on Kony's fate.

David Nyekorach Matsanga, chief peace negotiator for the LRA, told VOA that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was using an attack against the LRA as a pretext to invade eastern Congo for that country's resources.

"First of all the action, if it is true and if it is confirmed, it is the most regrettable action that humanity in this region will have. We have negotiated an agreement, we had negotiated peace for the last two years, and it is regrettable that the government of the Republic of Uganda has decided to make a military attack on the LRA, if it is confirmed. I want to make it clear that I have not received official confirmation from General Joseph Kony of this attack. But when it unfolds tomorrow and I received instruction from General Joseph Kony, then I will make an official statement," he said.

Matsanga rejected suggestions that the LRA was responsible for the alleged attack for its repeated failure to sign a final peace agreement the rebel group and the Ugandan government.

Instead Matsanga said the nearly four years peace process has brought some stability to northern Uganda.

"You should understand that we have got gains out of these three and the half years of negotiations. There was relative peace in northern Uganda. And now if Museveni decides to attack the LRA without any consultation while he is talking to us, it is very regrettable. The world must condemn it," Matsanga said.

He accused Uganda of using an attack on the LRA as a pretext to invade the Democratic Republic of Congo with the intention to loot that country's resources.

"We condemned this action of a few military people in the government of Uganda who are using this as a pretext to invade Congo. They have now taking their positions in Congo to loot the minerals, to loot the diamonds, to loot the timber, and everything in Congo. But that attack has taken place, the consequences are going to very dear, and the world is going to regret why this has taken place and they watched it," he said.

When pressed furthe3r to give evidence that Uganda has been wanting to invade the DRC to loot that country's resources, Matsanga would only say that the LRA has its own intelligence network deep inside Uganda.

Matsanga also said he called South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar, who is also the mediator of the peace process between the LRA and the Ugandan government to warn him that if the reported attack were true, it would be an escalation of the war.

He would not say whether Joseph Kony would retaliate if the reports of an attack on his camp were true. But Matsanga said the LRA was interested in peace.

"I cannot discuss the military strength of General Joseph Kony. It is only he as a military spokes of the LRA that can discuss the modalities. Let me make it very clear negotiations are not weaknesses. Being on the peace table does not mean the LRA is weak. But if the Museveni government has taken that root, we will wait and see the consequences that will unfold in the region," Matsanga said.

He said those who think an attack against the LRA in Congo would be a quick walkover might live to regret their actions.
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UGANDAN MILITARY ATTACKS LORDS RESISTANCE ARMY REBELS (Update 1)

Monday, December 15, 2008 Bloomberg report by Fred Ojambo and Franz Wild:
The Ugandan military is carrying out air raids on Lord’s Resistance Army rebels based in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the support of the DRC and South Sudan, an army spokesman said.

The Ugandan air force started bombing LRA bases in Garamba National Park in northeastern Congo yesterday after rebels last month failed to sign a peace agreement negotiated in 2006, military spokesman Paddy Ankunda said in a phone interview from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, today.

The Ugandan military hasn’t determined when to end the operation, coordinated with the Congolese army, and neither has it received details of casualties from the raids, the spokesman said.

“The joint operations against LRA are still continuing,” Ankunda said. “DRC is coordinating the raid and we don’t know when it will end.”

The United Nations mission in Congo, known as Monuc, will tomorrow fly into the combat zone to assess the situation, Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Paul Dietrich, said in an interview from Kinshasa, the Congolese capital.

“There are several hundred Ugandan soldiers in Orientale Province since yesterday,” he said. “They are putting real military pressure on the LRA.”

Rebel leader Joseph Kony refused to sign the peace agreement, demanding that the International Criminal Court first withdraw war crimes charges against him. Uganda’s government referred Kony and his commanders to the court, which indicted them in 2005, after they had fled to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

ICC Warrant

Uganda started negotiations with the rebel movement in July 2006 with the mediation of the South Sudan government in an attempt to end a two-decade war which has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than 1.5 million people.

Kony, who is holed up in the jungles of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, didn’t attend the talks in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, for fear of being arrested for crimes against humanity under the ICC warrant.

His rebel movement, which claims to represent the Acholi people, the dominant tribe in northern Uganda, says it wants to the country to be governed according to the Bible’s Ten Commandments.

The LRA justifies its rebellion by saying forces loyal to Museveni attacked the Acholi people, who formed the rank and file of the Ugandan army, after he overthrew Tito Okello, an Acholi, in 1986. The majority of the LRA are from the Acholi.

‘No Stick’

As the war intensified, the LRA targeted local villagers and abducted children to use as soldiers, porters and sex slaves, Amnesty International and other rights groups said.

The Ugandan government responded by forcing almost 2 million civilians, including about 90 percent of the Acholi people, into “protected villages,” according to rights groups such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch.

“Over the last three years Kony was given repeated carrots and no stick,” Julia Spiegel, LRA specialist for the Washington-based Enough Project, said in an interview from Kampala. “ We still need to see how successfully this operation eroded the LRA’s strength, but it could leave Kony without many options.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala via Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net. Franz Wild in Kinshasa via Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.
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UGANDAN ARMY SAYS SEVERAL LRA CAMPS DESTROYED, INCLUDING ITS MAIN BASE

Ugandan rebels say a stalled peace process has collapsed completely after a joint attack on its positions by forces from three African countries.

The Ugandan army has said that several LRA camps have been destroyed, including its main base.

Army spokesman Paddy Ankunda told the BBC that the operation had been launched because LRA leader Joseph Kony had been unwilling to end the violence in the region.

Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende Omalanga said they had decided to join in the attack out of desperation, accusing Mr Kony of being unwilling to halt his rebellion and of having attacked Congolese children.

"Or duty is to destroy terrorists and we've decided to join these neighbouring countries to do so," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"Those people they are killing are Congolese, those children they are recruiting, those girls they are raping are Congolese kids so we have to fight for them, we have to secure them, we have to crush everybody who is coming to kill them."

BBC East Africa correspondent Peter Greste says it is doubtful that any of the three governments involved are concerned about a collapse in the peace process.

Mr Kony has repeatedly refused to sign a draft agreement and his troops have continued to attack, rape and mutilate civilians and abduct children across all three countries amidst the peace process, BBC correspondent says.

Source: Monday, December 15, 2008 15:49 GMT BBC report. Copy:
ATTACK 'ENDS UGANDA PEACE TALKS'

Uganda, DR Congo and South Sudan launched a joint offensive on Sunday against bases of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in north-eastern DR Congo.

A rebel negotiator said the offensive signalled an escalation of the war.

The Ugandan army has said that several LRA camps have been destroyed, including its main base.

Army spokesman Paddy Ankunda told the BBC that the operation had been launched because LRA leader Joseph Kony had been unwilling to end the violence in the region.

Last month Mr Kony failed to sign a peace deal, despite two years of tortuous negotiations.

Millions displaced

The LRA has led a rebellion for more than 20 years in northern Uganda, displacing some two million people.

LRA negotiator David Nekorach Matsanga told the BBC's Network Africa programme that the involvement of troops from South Sudan - which is mediating in the conflict - meant that the peace process was now as good as dead.

He said he had not been able to contact LRA commanders since the attacks and it was not clear how much damage or casualties had been inflicted.

Mr Matsanga said he had protested to United Nations envoy at the negotiations, former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, saying: "We needed more time for peace. Peace was going to come. It was around the corner."

He said that Sudanese mediator Riek Machar had told him that the South Sudanese government was not aware of the attacks.

[But] "The intelligence that I have gathered is that… a section of the SPLA [Sudan People's Liberation Army, South Sudan's army] was involved in the attack, which is a very bad precedent because it is now an escalation of the war and it puts the peace process in total collapse," he said.

Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende Omalanga said they had decided to join in the attack out of desperation, accusing Mr Kony of being unwilling to halt his rebellion and of having attacked Congolese children.

"Our duty is to destroy terrorists and we've decided to join these neighbouring countries to do so," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"Those people they are killing are Congolese, those children they are recruiting, those girls they are raping are Congolese kids so we have to fight for them, we have to secure them, we have to crush everybody who is coming to kill them."

BBC East Africa correspondent Peter Greste says it is doubtful that any of the three governments involved are concerned about a collapse in the peace process.

Mr Kony has repeatedly refused to sign a draft agreement and his troops have continued to attack, rape and mutilate civilians and abduct children across all three countries amidst the peace process, our correspondent says.

He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Mr Kony has insisted that arrest warrants for him and for his associates must be dropped before any agreement is signed.

A statement announcing the joint operation was released in the Ugandan capital Kampala by intelligence chiefs of all three armed forces.

The statement said the attack targeted the "terrorists" at their bases in the forested area of Garamba, in the east of DR Congo.

"The three armed forces successfully attacked the main body and destroyed the main camp of Kony, code-named camp Swahili, setting it on fire," the statement said.
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LRA CANNOT HAVE A SAFE HAVEN IN SOUTHERN SUDAN AND THAT'S WHY THEY MOVED TO CONGO

Kinshasa, Kampala and Juba agreed earlier this year to launch joint military operations against the insurgents.

South Sudan's army spokesman, Peter Parnyang, said its soldiers would not cross into Congo to chase the LRA.

"Of course we are part (of the operation), but our work is to protect our people," he said. "There will be no attacks unless they come."

Congo's information minister, Lambert Mende, said the offensive would continue until all Kony's bases were destroyed.

"It has already been successful ... The bulk of Kony's infrastructure in the Garamba was destroyed (on Sunday)."

Source: Monday, December 15, 2008 Reuters report by Jack Kimball, Kampala. Copy:
UGANDAN SOLDIERS MOVE ON REBEL BASES: ARMY

Ugandan ground forces closed in on Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) bases in northeastern Congo after bombarding the rebels' camps, the army said on Monday, in a new push to end one of Africa's longest-running conflicts.

The offensive agreed by Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan began on Sunday with an aerial attack against the camps in the remote Garamba National Park in eastern Congo.

Analysts say regional governments were spurred to act after losing patience with LRA leader Joseph Kony who has repeatedly failed to sign a final peace deal to end fighting that has killed thousands of people.

"We can confirm that most of (Kony's) camps have been set on fire," said Ugandan army spokesman Major Paddy Ankunda. "It was an air-led operation, then the ground forces were inserted."

"We had reliable intelligence that they were preparing to attack Uganda ... and also we had the ICC warrants," he said, referring to indictments by the International Criminal Court for Kony and two of his deputies for war crimes.

The self-proclaimed mystic Kony has repeatedly demanded the ICC arrest warrants be dropped before the guerrillas would leave their camps in Congo.

Kony's fighters have waged a two-decade war against Uganda's government, mutilating victims, displacing nearly two million and destabilizing a vast swathe of central Africa.

After initial euphoria when a peace process started in mid-2006, LRA rebels have since run amok in the porous borders of Congo, Sudan and Central African Republic, opening a new front in a region racked by insecurity.

Ankunda would not comment on any Ugandan casualties, nor how many troops were involved in the operation.

DIFFICULT OPERATION?

Operating from camps in Garamba, the LRA has attacked several Congolese villages and towns in recent months. The rebels have killed dozens of civilians and abducted several hundred, including many children.

Kinshasa, Kampala and Juba agreed earlier this year to launch joint military operations against the insurgents.

South Sudan's army spokesman, Peter Parnyang, said its soldiers would not cross into Congo to chase the LRA.

"Of course we are part (of the operation), but our work is to protect our people," he said. "There will be no attacks unless they come."

Experts say a swift military victory against the LRA would be fraught with difficulties.

"The history of this conflict has shown that it is very resistant to military defeat," said analyst Levi Ochieng.

"But the political dynamics have changed ... the LRA cannot have a safe haven in southern Sudan and that's why they moved to Congo," he said. "It's a kind of a wild west."

Kony's fighters were harried by Uganda's army into southern Sudan, where they were used as a proxy force to fight Sudanese rebels battling Khartoum's central government.

In 2005, when the Sudanese civil war ended, Kony quit his southern hideouts and moved to Congo.

The 17,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in the Congo (MONUC) said no decision had been taken on what role U.N. peacekeepers would play in the new offensive against Kony.

Congo's information minister, Lambert Mende, said the offensive would continue until all Kony's bases were destroyed.

"It has already been successful ... The bulk of Kony's infrastructure in the Garamba was destroyed (on Sunday)."

(Additional reporting by Skye Wheeler in Juba and Joe Bavier in Kinshasa; Editing by David Clarke and Katie Nguyen)
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UGANDA, CONGO AND SUDAN JOIN FORCES AGAINST REBELS

Monday, 15 December 2008 non-subscriber extract - 81 of 436 words - from Jane's Information Group:
The operation against the base of LRA leader Joseph Kony in Garamba forest, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, reportedly involved paratroopers, infantry and the air force, according to Uganda's New Vision newspaper.

Military operations were said to be continuing, with no indication given as yet on Kony's whereabouts. Nevertheless, many in northern Uganda, which has seen security improve since the launch of the peace talks in 2006, will fear that the renewed military offensive will bring fresh destabilisation to the region.
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JOINT RAID SETS CAMP OF UGANDAN REBEL GROUP ABLAZE

Monday, December 15, 2008 Christian Science Monitor news round-up by Jonathan Adams:
Uganda, Congo, and south Sudan attacked the Lord's Resistance Army camp in northern Congo on Sunday.

Three African nations announced Monday they had launched military operations against the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the remote northeast forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo the previous day.

Uganda, Congo, and south Sudan said they had attacked an LRA camp and set it ablaze.

The LRA has waged a 20-year rebellion against the Ugandan government and is notorious for kidnapping children and conscripting them. Its leaders are now hiding out in the jungles of the neighboring Congo.

The Ugandan government and the LRA have been in on-and-off peace talks for more than two years, but LRA head Joseph Kony has three times this year failed to show up to sign a deal, frustrating efforts to bring peace.

The BBC reported that the three countries released a joint statement on the raid.
A statement announcing the operation was released in the Ugandan capital Kampala by the intelligence chiefs of all three armed forces.

The statement said the attack targeted the "terrorists" at their bases in the forested area of Garamba, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The three armed forces successfully attacked the main body and destroyed the main camp of Kony, code-named camp Swahili, setting it on fire," the statement said.
Agence France-Presse reported that the three governments have lost patience with Mr. Kony. It reported that both the LRA and the Ugandan government say they are still open to negotiations, despite the obvious breakdown of the peace process.
"We are attacking the camps. So for now the peace process is off," Ugandan army spokesman Major Paddy Ankunda told AFP.

But he added: "We still think that if there is an opportunity to re-open negotiations we will do it."

The attack, in which the forces raided and set an LRA rebels' camp on fire in the Garamba region, ended a two-year ceasefire between the Ugandan army and the rebels.

LRA spokesman David Nyekorach-Matsanga condemned Sunday's attacks but said they were still committed to peace.
Bloomberg reported that the Ugandan Air Force began bombing LRA positions Sunday. Quoting a Ugandan Army official, it said there weren't yet any details on casualties. It said the stumbling block to a peace deal was International Criminal Court charges against Kony.
Rebel leader Joseph Kony refused to sign the peace agreement, demanding that the International Criminal Court first withdraw war crimes charges against him.

The Uganda government referred Kony and his commanders to the court, which indicted them in 2005, after they had fled to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Uganda started negotiations with the rebel movement in July 2006 with the mediation of the South Sudan government in an attempt to end a war which has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than 1.5 million people.
The Daily Monitor, a Ugandan daily, reported that peace talks had already collapsed in November, when Joseph Kony "failed to turn up for the third time this year to sign a deal earlier agreed upon by both sides."
In a separate interview, Maj. Ankunda told Daily Monitor last night that the attack was prompted by the rebel leader's failure to sign the deal. "He continues to kill and abduct, so we decided to move and rescue the women and children," Maj. Ankunda said. "This operation is also intended to implement the warrant of arrests issued by the International Criminal Court against Kony and his top commanders."
The Monitor said the attack was believed to have included infantry and special forces, in addition to the airstrikes.

In a report last week, the International Crisis Group said the peace process was "failing." It warned that the LRA could be used as a pawn in the coming years by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. That Arab government has long been accused of sponsoring the LRA in its fight against the Ugandan government, as a tit-for-tat measure against Uganda's alleged past sponsorship of southern Sudanese Christian rebels who fought Khartoum.
[The LRA] is available again as a proxy if Khartoum wants to disrupt the 2009 national elections, Southern Sudan's 2011 referendum, or restart war on the Sudan People's Liberation Army's (SPLA) southern flank.
The Associated Press wrote that the LRA's insurgency has destabilized several countries in the region.
The LRA has been waging one of Africa's longest and most brutal rebellions for the past 20 years, drawing in northern Uganda, eastern Congo and southern Sudan. The rebels were notorious for raping children and using them as soldiers.
According to the website Globalsecurity.org, the LRA has "committed numerous abuses and atrocities, including the abduction, rape, maiming, and killing of civilians, including children."
The LRA rebels say they are fighting for the establishment of a government based on the biblical Ten Commandments. They are notorious for kidnapping children and forcing them to become rebel fighters or concubines. More than one-half-million people in Uganda's Gulu and Kitgum districts have been displaced by the fighting and are living in temporary camps, protected by the army.
Time magazine has called the LRA "one of the world's most terrifying rebel groups."

See video documentary [ See: http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=5eZCiAGTbCk ] from Journeyman Pictures on the LRA.

Three African nations announced Monday they had launched military operations against the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the remote northeast forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo the previous day.

Uganda, Congo, and south Sudan said they had attacked an LRA camp and set it ablaze.

The LRA has waged a 20-year rebellion against the Ugandan government and is notorious for kidnapping children and conscripting them. Its leaders are now hiding out in the jungles of the neighboring Congo.

The Ugandan government and the LRA have been in on-and-off peace talks for more than two years, but LRA head Joseph Kony has three times this year failed to show up to sign a deal, frustrating efforts to bring peace.

The BBC reported that the three countries released a joint statement on the raid.
A statement announcing the operation was released in the Ugandan capital Kampala by the intelligence chiefs of all three armed forces.

The statement said the attack targeted the "terrorists" at their bases in the forested area of Garamba, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The three armed forces successfully attacked the main body and destroyed the main camp of Kony, code-named camp Swahili, setting it on fire," the statement said.
Agence France-Presse reported that the three governments have lost patience with Mr. Kony. It reported that both the LRA and the Ugandan government say they are still open to negotiations, despite the obvious breakdown of the peace process.
"We are attacking the camps. So for now the peace process is off," Ugandan army spokesman Major Paddy Ankunda told AFP.

But he added: "We still think that if there is an opportunity to re-open negotiations we will do it."

The attack, in which the forces raided and set an LRA rebels' camp on fire in the Garamba region, ended a two-year ceasefire between the Ugandan army and the rebels.

LRA spokesman David Nyekorach-Matsanga condemned Sunday's attacks but said they were still committed to peace.
Bloomberg reported that the Ugandan Air Force began bombing LRA positions Sunday. Quoting a Ugandan Army official, it said there weren't yet any details on casualties. It said the stumbling block to a peace deal was International Criminal Court charges against Kony.
Rebel leader Joseph Kony refused to sign the peace agreement, demanding that the International Criminal Court first withdraw war crimes charges against him.

The Uganda government referred Kony and his commanders to the court, which indicted them in 2005, after they had fled to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Uganda started negotiations with the rebel movement in July 2006 with the mediation of the South Sudan government in an attempt to end a war which has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than 1.5 million people.
The Daily Monitor, a Ugandan daily, reported that peace talks had already collapsed in November, when Joseph Kony "failed to turn up for the third time this year to sign a deal earlier agreed upon by both sides."
In a separate interview, Maj. Ankunda told Daily Monitor last night that the attack was prompted by the rebel leader's failure to sign the deal. "He continues to kill and abduct, so we decided to move and rescue the women and children," Maj. Ankunda said. "This operation is also intended to implement the warrant of arrests issued by the International Criminal Court against Kony and his top commanders."
The Monitor said the attack was believed to have included infantry and special forces, in addition to the airstrikes.

In a report last week, the International Crisis Group said the peace process was "failing." It warned that the LRA could be used as a pawn in the coming years by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. That Arab government has long been accused of sponsoring the LRA in its fight against the Ugandan government, as a tit-for-tat measure against Uganda's alleged past sponsorship of southern Sudanese Christian rebels who fought Khartoum.
[The LRA] is available again as a proxy if Khartoum wants to disrupt the 2009 national elections, Southern Sudan's 2011 referendum, or restart war on the Sudan People's Liberation Army's (SPLA) southern flank.
The Associated Press wrote that the LRA's insurgency has destabilized several countries in the region.
The LRA has been waging one of Africa's longest and most brutal rebellions for the past 20 years, drawing in northern Uganda, eastern Congo and southern Sudan. The rebels were notorious for raping children and using them as soldiers.
According to the website Globalsecurity.org, the LRA has "committed numerous abuses and atrocities, including the abduction, rape, maiming, and killing of civilians, including children."
The LRA rebels say they are fighting for the establishment of a government based on the biblical Ten Commandments. They are notorious for kidnapping children and forcing them to become rebel fighters or concubines. More than one-half-million people in Uganda's Gulu and Kitgum districts have been displaced by the fighting and are living in temporary camps, protected by the army.
Time magazine has called the LRA "one of the world's most terrifying rebel groups."

See video documentary from Journeyman Pictures on the LRA. [ http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=5eZCiAGTbCk ]
- - -

Monday 15 December 2008 Press Release from Fathya Waberi / MONUC
ORIENTALE PROVINCE: ALAN DOSS STANDS BY THE POPULATION OF DUNGU

Alan Doss, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for the DRC, travelled for the first time to Dungu, in DRC’s Orientale Province on 12 December 2008, where MONUC has been providing support to the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) against the Lord’s Resistance Army. It was the last leg of his week long tour to Eastern DRC, Rwanda and Uganda.

Accompanied by Karl Wycoff, the Deputy-Assistant of the American Under Secretary of State for Eastern and Central Africa, Alan Doss highlighted that his visit was a “show of solidarity” with a population that suffered serious exactions from the LRA, including killings and the kidnapping of children, with disastrous humanitarian consequences.

MONUC’s chief condemned in the strongest possible terms “the brutal exactions and killing perpetrated by the LRA, an organization that has no reason to exist and must be brought to justice.” The LRA is allegedly holding over a hundred children of Dungu and its surroundings, according to MONUC/Ituri’s Child Protection Unit. Alan Doss highlighted the need for “stopping such atrocities and facilitating the return of internally displaced persons.”

The Special Representative noticed that despite the territory’s isolation, the situation was beginning to return to normal in the past week, alluding to the LRA’s attacks. Local authorities and representatives of civil society organisations warmly welcomed Mr. Doss. Reassured, the local population applauded MONUC’s new mandate and the resumption of activities by the UN and humanitarian agencies.

On 8 December last, The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) resumed the airlifting of emergency aid between Entebbe in Uganda and Dungu, intended firstly for 6,000 internally displaced persons out of the total of 35,000.

But according to humanitarian actors this number may be higher. The head of WFP Ituri announced that the first phase, consisting in facilitating a convoy of 100 tons of food and non food items would take eight days to get there, and other means are also being considered. Mr. Doss reassured the humanitarian community of MONUC’s support.

Another concern expressed by the population of Dungu was the security situation and the ongoing military operations aimed at containing the LRA in Garamba Park, whose members in the DRC are estimated at 1,200 troops, not to mention the civilians, women and children enlisted by force or retained as hostages.

In this respect, Mr. Doss reiterated MONUC’s determination to continue to provide logistic support to the FARDC, in terms of transport for troops and equipment, the supply of food and medical items, the construction of the runway at Dungu and the refurbishment of the Dungu-Kiliwa-Duru road axes.

When questioned on whether MONUC envisaged increasing its forces in the region, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the DRC said that the Mission could not do so now due to its limited resources. However, MONUC would do everything in its power “to hold the negative force called the LRA in check, and to facilitate the return of internally displaced persons to their communities.”
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SNAPSHOT OF GOOGLE'S NEWSREEL MONDAY 15 DECEMBER 2008 16:45 PM GMT

Ugandan army says peace process suspended
AFP - 36 minutes ago
On Sunday, forces from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the government of South Sudan began a military operation against Kony's jungle hideout ...

Ugandan Air Force Says Raids on Rebel Bases in Congo Continue
Bloomberg - 58 minutes ago
Uganda started negotiations with the rebel movement in July 2006 with the mediation of the South Sudan government in an attempt to end a war which has ...

Uganda Rebel Spokesman Condemns Reported Attack on LRA Camp
Voice of America - 1 hour ago
Reports Sunday quoted three central African governments – Uganda, Southern Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo - as saying their armies launched a ...

Uganda/DRC
Radio France Internationale, France - 1 hour ago
Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan have launched a joint military offensive against Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels camped ...

Reuters World News Highlights at 0630 GMT, Dec 15
Forex Pros, British Virgin Islands - 2 hours ago
KAMPALA - Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan launched a joint military offensive on Sunday against Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) ...

Uganda peace process suspended: army
AFP - 1 hour ago
KAMPALA (AFP) — Uganda's peace process appeared to be in tatters on Monday, a day after an unprecedented joint attack by regional forces against the Lord's ...

Ugandan soldiers move on rebel bases: army
Reuters - 3 hours ago
By Jack Kimball KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan ground forces closed in on Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) bases in northeastern Congo after bombarding the rebels' ...

Attack 'ends Uganda peace talks'
BBC News, UK - 5 hours ago
Ugandan rebels say a stalled peace process has collapsed completely after a joint attack on its positions by forces from three African countries. ...

African Neighbors Attack Ugandan Rebels
Voice of America - 19 hours ago
By VOA News Three central African governments say their armies have launched a joint offensive against Uganda's rebel Lord's Resistance Army. ...

Nations launch offensive against Uganda LRA rebels
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 20 hours ago
By Jack Kimball KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan launched a joint military offensive on Sunday against Ugandan ...

Joint operation against Ugandan rebels begins
Radio Netherlands, Netherlands - 21 hours ago
Military forces from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan have begun a joint operation against Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), ...

Uganda, Congo, Sudan launch joint attack against Uganda rebels
African Press Agency, Senegal - 5 hours ago
APA-Kampala (Uganda) The armed forces of Uganda, Southern Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday attacked Uganda rebel movement Lord’s Resistance ...

Uganda rebels condemn joint attack
African Press Agency, Senegal - 6 hours ago
APA-Kampala (Uganda) Ugandan rebel movement, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), on Monday condemned Southern Sudan, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo ...

African Armies Conduct Joint Offensive Against Ugandan
TransWorldNews (press release), GA - 20 hours ago
Armies from Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan have reportedly engaged in a joint offensive against Ugandan rebels based in the eastern DR ...

Q+A - Assault on Ugandan rebels
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 48 minutes ago
Dec 15 (Reuters) - Uganda, south Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo have launched an offensive against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, ...

Three Countries' Army Fight in Uganda
Prensa Latina, Cuba - 58 minutes ago
Kampala, Dec 15 (Prensa Latina) Military effectives from three countries attacked the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda established in the eastern part ...

Uganda, Congo and Sudan join forces against rebels
Jane's, UK - 1 hour ago
The operation against the base of LRA leader Joseph Kony in Garamba forest, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, reportedly involved paratroopers, ...

"Proxy war" under way between DRC and Rwanda
Open Democracy, UK - 1 hour ago
The bases of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) were attacked on Monday in a joint operation by Ugandan, Congolese and Sudanese troops. ...

Uganda Says Rebels Damaged in Sunday Attack
Voice of America - 1 hour ago
That assessment from spokesman Chris Magezi Monday came as forces from Uganda, Congo, and southern Sudan continued their offensive against the LRA. ...

Joint raid sets camp of Ugandan rebel group ablaze
Christian Science Monitor, MA - 2 hours ago
By Jonathan Adams Three African nations announced Monday they had launched military operations against the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the ...

Uganda peace process suspended: army
AFP - 2 hours ago
Ugandan army spokesman Major Paddy Ankunda said efforts to reach a final peace deal with the LRA were suspended after Sunday's raid by forces from Uganda, ...

Uganda rebel threat outweighs dispute with Kampala: DR Congo
AFP - 2 hours ago
Uganda and DR Congo, along with forces from southern Sudan, launched a joint military operation Sunday against Uganda's rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) ...

Reuters World News Highlights at 1400 GMT
Forex Pros, British Virgin Islands - 3 hours ago
KAMPALA - Ugandan ground forces closed in on Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) bases in northeastern Congo after bombarding the rebels' camps, the army said on ...

Ugandan Military Attacks Lords Resistance Army Rebels
Bloomberg - 3 hours ago
The Ugandan air force started bombing LRA bases in Garamba National Park in northeastern Congo yesterday after rebels last month failed to sign a peace ...

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