See also:
» 13.10.2010 - Wanted Congo warlord "walks freely in Goma"
» 17.03.2010 - UNICEF brings books to CAR
» 15.02.2010 - Children still recruited into DRC’s war ranks
» 21.10.2009 - UNICEF appeals for donor support to protect CAR's children
» 12.08.2009 - $1.5 million life-saving support needed in CAR
» 08.04.2009 - UN calls for end of violence in CAR
» 08.01.2009 - Over 800, 000 children targeted for immunisation in CAR
» 03.06.2008 - Child soldiers to be freed in Chad and CAR

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Central African Republic | Congo Kinshasa | Uganda
Human rights | Politics

Ugandan rebel leaders hunted

afrol News, 9 September - United Nations and Democratic Republic of Congo army have begun a man hunt of Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), officials have said.

LRA, which is well known for recruiting child soldiers, has in recent months been attacking villages and abducting people in southern Sudan, Congo and parts of Central African Republic, military officials said.

Mr Kony refused to sign a final peace deal in April after two years of negotiations and is believed to have been using the time to rearm. He said he will only sign peace deal if International Criminal Court removes indictments slapped on him and four other LRA members for war crimes.

United Nations officials, said 200 Congolese troops had been sent to northern town of Dungu and that another 900 were expected to follow, but Mr Kony has always managed to escape efforts to neutralise his group.

However Uganda, Congo and UN peacekeeping mission in Congo agreed early June to take military action against Mr Kony.

A hard to find rebel commander is based in Congo's north east where he fled late in 2004 after being forced out of his former southern Sudanese bases.

UN peacekeeping mission spokesman Colonel Jean Paul Dietrich, said that campaign would last until there is no more danger for local population in north of DRC.

LRA rebellion, which has stretched over decades, has seen tens of thousands killed or mutilated and several million displaced in Uganda.

Mr Kony is now seen as a growing regional menace, looting villages and abducting civilians from Central African Republic (CAR), Sudan and Congo.

Between January and March he is reported to have abducted a further 300 people to act as porters, fighters and sex slaves. Reports further indicate that he also has six new bases in northern Congo and to be running diamond mines in CAR.

Meanwhile, LRA today has warned against any military operations by DRC troops, and vowed to act in self-defence.

LRA spokesperson David Nyekorach-Matsanga said reports that DRC troops, backed by United Nations mission in DRC (Monuc), would attack its bases in north-east DRC hampered ongoing peace talks aimed at ending a two-decade insurgency.

"It's a provocative act that will not help the peace in northern Uganda," said Matsanga, speaking from southern Sudanese city of Juba, where peace talks have taken place since 2006.

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