Army in CAR to Fight Kony
SOURCE: New Vision
By Chris Ocowun
Kampala — THE UPDF 4th Division commander, Brig. Charles Otema Awany, has camped at Obbo village in the Central African Republic to coordinate operations against the LRA remnants headed by Joseph Kony.
The regional army spokesman, Capt. Ronald Kakurungu, said Otema took over the command against the LRA rebels from Brig. Patrick Kankiriho.
"The hardcore LRA criminals are in the Central African Republic. The issue now is when to put the final nails on them since they are already defeated," Kakurungu told journalists at his office on Monday.
He said the situation in the north was calm with more troops deployed in the DR Congo, the Central African Republic and at all the borders to pursue the LRA rebels and ensure that they do not return to Uganda.
"We have not lost focus in these operations and our mission is to ensure that the problem of LRA rebels does not spill over to the north again," Kakurungu noted.
Kakurungu said the army had killed 305 rebels since it launched a joint military offensive, Operation Lightning Thunder, on December 14, 2008, under the command of Kankiriho.
He said the UPDF jointly attacked the LRA hideouts with the Sudanese People's Liberation Army and the Congolese army in an operation backed by the air force, paratroopers and infantry.
The forces withdrew from Congo early last year when the time granted by the Congolese government for the operations elapsed. However, the army maintained intelligence units to help the SPLA and Congolese army clear LRA remnants, Kakurungu added.
He also explained that the army with the Police have been conducting a national de-mining programme in the north.
"There was a big concern by the IDPs about the mines in return areas. Most of these areas were battlefields and, not yet safe for settlement,"
Kakurungu stated that the UPDF and the Police recovered ammunition in the return areas in Gulu, Amuru, Pader and Kitgum.
Some of the weapons recovered included 23 land mines, 277 grenades and 154 rocket- propelled grenades.