NOVEMBER 19, 2009: America Moves to Make Life Harder for Kony Rebels

America Moves to Make Life Harder for Kony Rebels
By Angelo Izama

Kampala — The Ugandan army yesterday said it had killed yet another commander of the Lord's Resistance Army in the Central African Republic even as US lawmakers moved closer to passing a law to enable the White House directly get involved in anti-LRA efforts.

"We killed Lt. Col. Okello Ogutti who is the main commander of LRA's eastern forces" said Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, the Defence and Army spokesman.

Bill Passed

On Tuesday, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the "LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009" moving the Bill a step forward in the legislative process.

The Bill whose aim is to "eliminate the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army" would empower the Obama Administration to coordinate a strategy which includes the provision of military, intelligence and humanitarian assistance to countries like Uganda, DR Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan to fight the rebels.

Lt. Col Kulayigye said the army was keen on getting assistance to boost its own efforts.

"Our unique ideology is that while the targeting of LRA commanders continues, the door for Joseph Kony to sign a peace agreement is still open" he said.

One of the sponsors of the Bill, Mr Russ Feingold, is the chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Sub-Committee on Africa.

In a statement on Tuesday he said: "For too long, Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army have terrorised innocent civilians across four countries of central Africa."

"The lack of an effective international response to these atrocities is an outrage," said Mr Michael Poffenberger, the Executive Director of the Washington-based advocacy organisation, Resolve Uganda. In the past year, LRA rebels have abducted close to a thousand children in the region...

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