Home | Press Releases    Friday 30 July 2004

The LRA destruction in Eastern Equatoria continues with Dozens of civilians killed in the past week

Equatoria Defence Forces (EDF)
July 30th, 2004

Dozens of civilians are now known to have died at the hands of the Uganda’s LRA rebels since the LRA supported by GoS army started their campaign against Equatorian villages on the morning of July 23rd 2004, by attacking Moti which is about 10 miles from Torit garrison town. It will be sometime before we know exactly how many civilians were killed in total especially in the village of Kiliyu which has been very much devastated by the LRA after Moti.

After the fighting in Moti on 23rd July 2004, the LRA were headed southwards in the direction of Katire. They then arrived at the village of Kiliyu about ten miles from Moti which they attacked with ferocity and fighting ensured with EDF/SPLA forces. The resistance was being put up by only a detachment of one company ( about 100 men) and as such this was no match for the hundreds of LRA rebels. Hence our detachment in Kiliyu had no way but to withdraw and call for reinforcement from Magwi.

There was mayhem in the village Kiliyu as the LRA turned it into their temporary camp and looted all the cattle and food stocks they could come upon and they burned the whole village huts down. Also while the LRA were in Kiliyu three loads of Hino trucks of Sudanese army was sported by our soldiers going into Kiliyu bringing in extra ammunitions for the LRA to reinforce them. The LRA abducted or killed on sight any Equatorian civilian they came across and since our forces had to withdrew form Kiliyu it will be sometime before we can know for sure how many civilians might have been killed in Kiliyu and how many are missing; but the commanders told me to expect figures in dozens perhaps even up to a hundred. Over 10,000 people are again homeless and displaced and these are to add on top of the previous thousands displaced already by previous attacks.

The LRA campaign of looting and burning and killings came only to a halt yesterday when they started to withdraw and march towards Juba. This is apparently in response to the UPDF attack on their headquarters in Bilinyang village near Juba. Their withdrawal was again via Moti and we had to withdraw from Moti for the second time in a week. The rebels were so well armed now and with backing from GoS army logistics our forces could not stop then passing again via Moti on their way back to their headquarters near Juba.

Our appeal to NGOs and the UN to come to the rescue of the thousands of people displaced and brutalized by LRA attacks in Eastern Equatoria is still in place. Relief aid can be coordinated with help from the EDF/SPLA headquarters in Magwi County.

Charles Barnaba Kisanga

- Secretary General
- Equatoria Defence Forces (EDF)
- E-mail: ckisanga03@yahoo.co.uk
- Tel: +44-117 9594549