MARCH 16, 2010: Kony Not in Darfur

LRA Rebel Chief Not in Darfur - Sudan Army
SOURCE: New Vision
Kampala — THE Sudanese army has denied reports that the feared leader of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebel group has found refuge in the western region of Darfur.

"Joseph Kony is not in Darfur," Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told AFP.

"And even if he had wanted to go, know that Darfur is not a favourable environment for the LRA," he said. LRA rebels "are used to fighting in the forests," while Darfur is semi-desert.

On Friday, President Yoweri Museveni told reporters that Kony is believed to have fled into Darfur.

"About one month ago, Kony himself disappeared. Our military said that the small group in which Kony was had disappeared into Darfur. That is what they told me," Museveni said, commenting on a report by the Washington-based rights watchdog Enough Project.

According to Enough, a band of LRA fighters sought refuge in a part of south Darfur under government control, raising questions about possible cooperation between Kony and Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

The fugitive LRA leader has been on the run since December 2008 when regional states launched a hunt for him after he refused to sign a peace deal with the Ugandan government.

Since the operation, remnant LRA fighters have been moving around the jungles of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, south Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Both Kony and Beshir are wanted by the Interntional Criminal Court for war crimes in Uganda and Darfur respectively.