Congo Watch: DRC, Ugandan leaders to meet over joint operation against rebels

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

DRC, Ugandan leaders to meet over joint operation against rebels

From African Press Agency 3 March 2009:
DRC, Ugandan leaders to meet over joint operation against rebels
APA Kampala (Uganda) Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni and his DR Congo counterpart Joseph Kabila are set to meet by the end of this week to discuss issues related to the ‘Operation Lightning Thunder’ which was aimed at flushing out the illusive rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) under the command of General Joseph Kony.

The two leaders will decide whether the Ugandan troops should continue pursuing the LRA within their hide out in the Garamba national park in Congolese territory or call off the operation.

The spokesman of the Ugandan military Major Felix Kulaigye confirmed on Tuesday that officers from the DRC and Uganda have been discussing the future of the joint armed operation they began three months ago against the rebels responsible for widespread atrocities inside Congo and Uganda.

The Congolese government is under pressure from nationalist politicians to end the joint operation. Kulaigye indicated that the two presidents are to meet this week to decide on the issue.

About 4,000 Ugandan troops are since last December involved in this operation codenamed ‘Lightning Thunder’ with a similar number of Congolese troops.

There are fears that the withdrawal of the Ugandan troops is likely to give room for the rebesl now in disarray to regroup, a challenge the two presidents are expected to discuss.

However, the exact date of the two leaders’ meeting has not yet been established.

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