NOVEMBER 26, 2009: Sixty-Four LRA Rebels Surrender

Sixty-Four LRA Rebels Surrender

SOURCE: New Vision

By Dennis Ojwee

Kampala — A total of 64 fighters of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group have since October surrendered and returned home from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Capt. Samuel Obali, who returned recently with nine fighters and junior commanders, said they were forced to surrender because of the constant pursuit by the UPDF forces in the Central African Republic, DR-Congo and Southern Sudan.

"Frequent attacks by the UPDF and other forces forced the LRA to split into smaller groups. We had no food, water, medicine and lacked communication with the central command. We had to organise ourselves and surrender to the Congolese Armed Forces in order to survive," Obali said.

He added that the LRA groups that were still in the bush had lost communication from the main groups in the CAR and DR-Congo since the UPDF intensified its operations.

The UPDF launched Operation 'Lightening Thunder' under the command of Brig. Patrick Kankiriho in 2008, after Kony had fled with his forces into DR-Congo in 2006.

The overall UPDF spokesman, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, said Joseph Kony, believed to be hiding in CAR, had lost direct communication with his groups because the UPDF had changed its military approach, disorganising the LRA's gorilla tactics.

He appealed to the LRA commanders who are still undecided in the bush to quickly surrender before they get killed, as UPDF and regional forces frequently launch military operations.

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