Home | News    Wednesday 2 February 2011

LRA rebels launch fresh attacks in remote area of Western Equatoria

By Richard Ruati

February 1, 2011 (RII-YUBU) - For the second time this week, rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on Tuesday launched attacks against civilians in the southwest of Western Equatoria in Sudan’s south.

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Women and children bear the brunt of LRA’s horrendous atrocities. A mother holds her malnourished child as she explains her displacement ordeal in Ezo on August 31, 2009 (ST)

The attack in Rii-Yubu locality in Tambura County killed one man and wounded two. Two young girls where abducted.

The LRA’s indiscriminate attacks and looting in Western Equatoria, have displaced thousands.

The location of the latest attack is just five miles away from Tambura a town, which borders the Central Africa Republic (CAR), where the LRA are thought to be based after being forced out of Uganda.

For the last few years the Ugandan army (UPDF) has worked in tandem with the Sudan’s southern army - the SPLA - to pursue the LRA.

In a phone interview from Tambura County, the state minister of local government and law enforcement Wilson Sidigi told Sudan Tribune that the rebels raided on Tuesday morning “displacing the local communities”.

He added that, local protection group, the Arrow Boys, and the southern army (SPLA) have reported that the LRA were seen again at small village called Bariabande, also Rii-Yubu locality.

Sidigi said, “The joint forces composed of SPLA, UPDF and Arrow Boys are still perusing the rebels.”

The county commissioner of Tambura Charles Babiro said, “the deceased was a chief of the payam popularly known by name his of William.”

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Elderly people in Western Equatoria remain vulnerable to LRA attacks as they cannot escape on foot . Ezo county, Western Equatoria. August 31, 2009 (ST)

The LRA killed two villagers and abducted another just miles away from Yambio the capital of Western Equatoria state on Friday morning, just over two weeks after the peaceful conduct of a referendum on the independence of southern Sudan.

The governor of Western Equatoria state Joseph Bakosoro said that, “the state will never allow any dialogue with the LRA rebels in the state’s territory as called for by the UN bodies”, adding that, “the LRA are people without visions and objectives but only guided with the destruction and killing of innocent civilians.”

The renewed LRA attacks come three months of relative peace in the state.

The rebellion of the LRA is considered as a threat to both domestic and international security.

On 24 May 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a law designed to aid the Ugandan government and its neighbors in combating the LRA’s brutal insurgency. The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 was introduced by U.S. senators Russ Feingold and Sam Brownback, was supported by both Republican and Democrats, as well as humanitarian and human rights groups.

The marauding rebels of the LRA - a quasi-religious group originating in Uganda - says it wants to rule Uganda along the lines of the Bible’s 10 commandments.

In Western Equatoria, where many people are Christians many people have dismissed the groups claims to have a Christian cause, saying that it has been influenced by mysticism.

LRA attacks in Western Equatoria continue to hinder post civil war reconstruction of the rich agricultural state, with most farmers staying away from their arable land in fear of being abducted or maimed.

For more than five years LRA attacks have also continued to derail the implementation of projects being provided by development partners and aid agencies.