NOVEMBER 9, 2009: LRA Not Defeated

'LRA Not Defeated'

SOURCE: New Vision

By Hope Mafaranga, John Thawite and Bernard Masereka

Kampala — The Lord Resistance Army (LRA) has been weakened but is not defeated, army chief Gen. Aronda Nyakairima said yesterday.

"The LRA is diminished but not yet defeated. If we don't intensify our joint operations and cooperation, the rebels can re-group and cause fresh havoc in the region."

He was addressing a security meeting with his Congolese counterpart at Hotel Margherita in Kasese town.

On December 14, the armies of Uganda, Congo and Southern Sudan launched a joint operation to eliminate the LRA threat.

 Although Operation Lightning Thunder ended after three months, UPDF intelligence staff continue to operate alongside the Congolese and Sudanese armies.

UPDF has also recently been allowed to operate in the Central African Republic where LRA units had fled to.

Aronda said the Kasese meeting was meant to forge new strategies to deal a final blow to the LRA. "We still have an unfinished business and we must complete that business."

The UPFD chief commended the cooperation of both civilians and security organs of the four countries and called for multi-national operations against terrorism.

"If we had not taken a joint action against the LRA, we would not have damaged the rebels as we irreversibly did," he noted.

"Independent states can not have the resources to handle threats of terrorism. We must cooperate."

Congolese army boss Gen. Didier Etumba assured the Ugandan government of his county's continued support to chase the LRA and other negative forces from Congolese soil. "You can count on us to help in bringing peace and stability in our region."