Congo Watch: UPDF troops in DRC jungle find LRA bodies floating on rivers and buried in mass graves

Sunday, January 11, 2009

UPDF troops in DRC jungle find LRA bodies floating on rivers and buried in mass graves

“We have found mass graves. Our soldiers found the bodies decomposing but we could not establish if any of the top LRA commanders are among those because they were rotten,” Brig. Kankiriho replied when asked if LRA top leaders were among the dead.

‘UPDF uncovers bodies in mass grave’
January 11, 2009 Sunday Monitor report from Kampala by Grace Matsiko:
The UPDF troops combing DRC jungles have found decomposing bodies of LRA rebel fighters buried in mass graves, the operations top military commander, has said.

Brig. Patrick Kankiriho, the UPDF overall commander for Operation Lightning Thunder, told Daily Monitor last evening that the troops also discovered bodies of rebel fighters floating on rivers.

“We have found mass graves. Our soldiers found the bodies decomposing but we could not establish if any of the top LRA commanders are among those because they were rotten,” Brig. Kankiriho replied when asked if LRA top leaders were among the dead.

“After checking the graves, we have covered them, this shows the operation caused substantial damage even when they were able to carry away the dead and later bury them.”

But Brig. Kankiriho said because of the state of the bodies, the army could not give the numbers of the dead. “The rebels we have captured say some of the dead were killed during parade and others died later because of wounds,” he added.

The UPDF, alongside South Sudan and the DRC troops on December 14 launched air strikes on the LRA bases in Garamba National Park.

Brig. Kankiriho said they have so far destroyed gardens of food crops, uncovered dry ration, captured communication gadgets, recovered guns and an assortment of war materials including documents.

“On January 5, we rescued abductees, one was from Central African Republic, we recovered a computer monitor and a gun,” Brig. Kankiriho said.

He appealed to Ugandans to be patient as the army pursues the rebels. “Ugandans should know that the place where we are there are no roads. It is almost the size of Uganda. These are forests but we are doing our best,” he added.

The latest army report could not be independent from the LRA leaders as for days their satellite telephone contacts have been switched off.
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