Ugandan army recovered military equipment from LRA bases in Garamba, DRC
January 05, 2009 New Vision Uganda report by Barbara Among:
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have captured more military equipment and food from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.
During yesterday’s cordon-and-search operation, the troops recovered the items from rebel bases in the west of Garamba Forest.
The items include 1,000kgs of sugar, four sub-machine guns with 60 rounds of ammunition, a radio communication charging system with three batteries, two Codan manpack radios, two frequency military radios, a satellite phone and one Mageran Global Positioning System.
“The rebels become more vulnerable as they lose the will and means to make war,” said army spokesperson Maj. Paddy Ankunda.
“The operation against the rebels will continue unless (LRA leader) Joseph Kony signs the Juba peace agreement and assembles at Ri-Kwangba,” he added.
On Sunday, the army recovered a grenade launcher near Camp Swahili. This is the rebel group’s main camp.
Other items captured at the start of the operation were passports, communication equipment and 30 machine guns.
Ankunda said the joint forces were working together to protect civilians. Meanwhile, the army extended condolences to families that lost their loved ones to the rebel attacks during the festive season.
Forces from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan launched a joint operation against the LRA in north-eastern part of DRC on December 14.
As the rebels fled, they massacred over 400 civilians in Dungu. UN, Congolese and Ugandan officials said the rebels split into small groups.
Yesterday, there were reports that some of the rebels were seen in the Ango region heading towards the Central African Republic (CAR). In February and March last year, the rebels crossed over Congo’s border with CAR, where they attacked villages and abducted over 150 people.
It is said the abducted people were used as porters, sex-slaves and child soldiers. Despite claims of early success and the unanimous backing of the UN Security Council, the offensive has failed to find Kony.
The military operation follows Kony’s refusal to sign a peace deal since July 2006. He demands that the International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued against him and his top commanders be dropped.