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Where is Kony? "Not in Congo", according to Kinshasa

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MISNA - November 7, 2005 10:05 PM

The government of Kinshasa has categorically denied that the historic leader of the LRA, Joseph Kony is in the country as the Kampala daily 'New Vision' reported during the weekend. "There are no longer any LRA elements in our country," said Antoine Ghonda, speaking for president Joseph Kabila, referring to the recent distancing of a group of rebels led by Kony's deputy, Vincent Otti, who were forced to repatriate thanks to pressure from the UN peacekeepers and the Congolese army. According to Ghonda, the news is a pretext adopted by Uganda to derial the transition process in the former Zaire and attract the attention of the international community taking advantage of a UN Security Council visit in the Great Lakes region. From Uganda, the spokesman of the armed forces Shaban Bantariza expressed doubt over the possibility that Kony has left the West Nile region of Sudan to cross the Congolese border: ?we are verifying the information. Certainly, were it true someone has some explaining to do,? said Bantariza. Despite the uncertainty, in the past days some 150 soldiers of the UN mission in Congo - MONUC - were sent in the area of Aru, in the extreme northeast of the country, to verify if the LRA rebels might still be in the area.


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