SEPTEMBER 8, 2010: Darfur rebels say LRA attacked their positions near Central African Republic

Darfur rebels say LRA attacked their positions near Central African Republic

SOURCE: Sudan Tribune

The rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), a signatory of a ceasefire agreement and currently negotiating peace deal with Khartoum in Doha, said today their troops were attacked in South Darfur by the notorious Ugandan rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).The attack took place in the remote area of South Darfur, Davaq, which also borders West Bahr El-Gazal state and Central African Republic (CAR) in the morning of Thursday 2 September.

"The assailants came form the border with the Central African Republic but we successfully repelled them. They ran away and returned into the CAR," said Abdel-Aziz Abu-Nummosha LJM deputy chairman who was speaking to Sudan Tribune from Doha.

Abu-Nummosha revealed that they lost one soldier in this attack. He also added they identified the LRA elements from their belongings that they left behind.

"We found LRA badges and also they were speaking unknown language in the area," he stressed.

Uganda, theSouthern Sudan army SPLA, and the US based Enough Projectsignaled the presence of LRA fighters in South Darfur state and accused Khartoum of supporting the rebel Ugandan group.

In December 2009 the SPLA spokesperson Kuol Deim Kuol said that LRA leader Joseph Kony sneaked into Darfur coming from the CAR after the strikes made by Ugandan helicopters to his forces.

Kuol suggested that Kony is seeking protection from the Sudanese army and may be used to fight Darfur rebel groups.

Presidential Adviser for security affairs, Salah Gosh denied the claims at the time saying SPLA is resorting to "fabrications" and "political maneuvers" to "distort the image of the Sudanese army".

Abu-Nummosha accused the Sudanese army of directing the Ugandan rebels to attack their positions.

"We believe they [LRA elements] were instigated by the government and that is a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement signed between LJM and the government on March 18, 2010."

He further said that this attack means that "the government is not serious in a political settlement", pointing out that it comes in the context of "the new government strategy and conspiracy on the Darfur issue".

Sudanese government adopted recently a plan to achieve peace through the return of IDPs to their homeland and development projects.

As two main rebel groups are not part of the talks, the new strategy intends also to involve the elected governors and MPs and marginalize the role of armed groups.

The rebel official further said the LRA attack comes simultaneously with the recent raids on the IDPs camps and civilians in the region by the government militias.

"What is going on currently in Tawila area, Omm Buraida, Jabal Marra, and Kateila, reflects the continuation of the Government's approach based on giving free reign to the Janjaweed and supporting the LRA," he said.

Abu-Nummosha cautioned the Joint Chief Mediator and the Darfur peacekeeping mission UNAMID saying the violence by the government aims to "shatter the Doha negotiating process; and hence leaving the movement's options open".

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