Home | News    Monday 28 September 2009

Sudan says Uganda LRA leader not in Darfur

September 27, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese government denied claims by the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) that the leader of Uganda Lord Resistance Army (LRA) Joseph Kony relocated to the western region of Darfur.

Joseph Kony, leader of the rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (AFP)

This week the SPLA spokesperson Kuol Deim Kuol said that Kony sneaked into Darfur coming from the Central African Republic (CAR) after the strikes made by Ugandan helicopters to his forces.

Kuol suggested that Kony is seeking protection from the Sudanese army and may be used to fight the Darfur rebels.

Salah Gosh, the adviser to the Sudanese president and former director of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) said that the SPLA claim is untrue.

He said that the SPLA is resorting to “fabrications” and “political maneuvers” to “distort the image of the Sudanese army”.

“The SPLA knows very well where Kony is,” Gosh said.

Since the 90’s Khartoum reportedly armed, trained and gave military intelligence to the LRA to help it take on the Ugandan government and fight a proxy war against the SPLA.

Kony, in a video-taped meeting in 2005, described it as a mutually beneficial arrangement where “we helped the Arabs to fight their war in the south while they helped us to fight [Ugandan president] Musievini’s government”.

The LRA leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and a number of his commanders for crimes allegedly committed against civilians in North Uganda.

From September to March this year, the Ugandan and Congolese armies, with support from southern Sudan, carried out a massive offensive that failed to either capture Kony or neutralize his group.

Since then, peace talks have ground to a halt and LRA fighters have stepped up their attacks on civilians, in particular in eastern Central African Republic.