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Monuc: "ugandan rebels disarm or we will use force"

MISNA | Published on September 29, 2005

The Ugandan rebels of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) that recently crossed into the Democratic Republic of Congo must disarm and repatriate without any negotiation or force will be used: this was the ultimatum launched by the military spokesman of the MONUC (United Nations Mission in DR-Congo), Thierry Provendier. A joint mission of the MONUC and Congolese armed forces (FARDC) arrived a few days ago in Aba, in the north-east, not far from the Sudanese border, individuating in the area 382 members of the Ugandan rebel movement founded 18 years ago by Joseph Kony. MISNA sources contacted on the scene refer that the situation for the moment appears calm, but the local residents are very concerned about the presence of the rebels. In a move to resolve the problem, the MONUC proposed to the LRA rebels to adhere to the disarmament and reintegration programme already offered to the former combatants active in DR-Congo. The government of Kampala, that since the start of the year is negotiating peace with the rebellion, has deployed 409 soldiers along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the West Nile region. The Ugandan rebels entered the nation around ten days ago under the command of the number two of the movement, Vincent Otti, to escape Uganda's soldiers that advanced on them all the way to South Sudan. The LRA, mainly active in the northern Ugandan districts, is engaged in a conflict that has claimed over 100,000 victims and displaced over a million. The rebels have also abducted over 25,000 minors, reducing them to slavery and forcing them to combat.

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