Home | News    Thursday 2 June 2016

Sudan turns down joining anti-LRA regional group

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June 1, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government has declined to join the African Union-led Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA) considering that the Ugandan rebel group has no presence in its territory.

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LRA leader Joseph Kony and his fighters (Getty)

In its final communiqué, the fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Joint Coordination Mechanism (JCM) of the RCI-LRA which took place in Addis Ababa on 20 May called for the sustainment of counter-LRA efforts until the group is eliminated.

“Whereas the capacity of the LRA has been significantly degraded to the extent of not posing a political threat to any state in the region, the LRA still has a capacity to regroup, rebuild itself and resume atrocities against defenceless civilians” read the communiqué.

The meeting requested the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to renew the mandate of the RCI-LRA for further twelve (12) months until 22 May 2017.

It also welcomed the readiness expressed by Sudan to become a full member of the initiative and requested the AU Commission to follow up this pledge.

However, a senior Sudanese official told Sudan Tribune on the condition of anonymity that his government refuses to join the RCI-LRA, pointing the latter is tasked with determining the LRA whereabouts and help arrest its leader Josef Kony and hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Sudan has nothing to do with the LRA particularly after the secession of South Sudan which represented a [geographical] barrier between Sudan and Uganda and thus LRA presence in the Sudanese territory was no longer possible,” he said.

Sudan and Uganda traded accusations of support to rebel groups from both sides. Khartoum accused Kampala of backing rebel groups from Darfur and the Two Areas while the latter accused the former of supporting the LRA.

There were reports that the LRA are moving between the borders of Darfur, Central Africa Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after having their presence in South Sudan exposed by the military there. Also, there were media reports that Knoy is present in Kafia Kingi area.

In a report issued in October 2015, the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey group said a verification team led by the AU special envoy for LRA issues Retired General Jackson Tuwei visited Khartoum on 12–15 September 2015.

“The AU delegates met with various Sudanese military and civilian officials who denied the presence of the LRA and Kony in Kafia Kingi but assured the AU of their full cooperation, including facilitating a future joint visit to Kafia Kingi," said the report.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni was last September in to Khartoum to discuss ways to facilitate the implementation of peace in South Sudan and to meet the former South Sudanese vice-president Riek Machar.

The visit also discussed the issue of rebel groups and the two countries agreed to resume discussions on the matter. Khartoum recently admitted that the Sudanese rebel leaders are no longer present in Uganda.

For two decades the LRA rebels were involved in a vicious fight with the Ugandan government. Most of the fighting took place in northern Uganda.

At the peak of the conflict nearly two million people in the region, Kony’s home area, and where most of his fighters also come from, were forced from their homes and villages into internally displaced persons camps.

The rebel group has been accused of mass murder and forceful abduction of civilian population to swell their ranks.

In 2005, the International Criminal Court indicted the top LRA leaders including Kony for crimes against humanity.

The LRA was flushed out of Uganda in 2006. The rebel group then moved to South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic (CAR).

In 2011, US President Barrack Obama sent to the Great Lakes region 100 military advisers to help the armies of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central Africa Republic fight the rebels.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 2 June 2016 09:01, by dinkdong

    That’s say it all, Sudan sheltered and supported LRA.

    repondre message

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