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UPDF captures top LRA commander

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Sep 9, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Sep 9, 2009
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    NewVision [​IMG] Brigadier Opuk (encircled) sitting next to the LRA top brass including his boss Kony (right) in the jungles of Congo years back
    By Henry Mukasa

    THE army has captured another senior LRA commander in the on-going military push against the rebels in the DR Congo and the Central African Republic.

    Mickman Opuk, who was close to LRA leader Joseph Kony, was captured from the jungles of the Central African Republic a fortnight ago as the joint military offensive pursued a group of rebels.

    “We picked him like a grasshopper and he is intact,” said army spokesperson Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye yesterday. “Our forces had been in hot pursuit of Kony’s group which he was part of.”

    Four other LRA junior commanders have been killed and 98 abductees rescued since the army entered the Central Africa Republic to hunt down the rebels, Kulayigye added.

    Opuk is one of the most notorious rebel commanders. According to the army, he participated in the 1995 Atiak massacre of over 200 civilians.

    Asked when Opuk would be flown to Uganda, Kulayigye said he was being kept in the field to assist the joint forces with information.

    “Slowly by slowly we are harvesting them. The fact that we have been allowed in the Central African Republic shows that Kony is not safe anywhere.”

    He said the chief of defence forces of Uganda, the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan met in Kampala on Friday to review the progress of the anti-LRA operations.

    Officials from the four affected countries met a month ago and agreed to allow Ugandan army units into the Central African Republic, Kulayigye told Reuters earlier.

    “(Ugandan army) squads entered Central African Republic under the auspices of the joint security meeting.

    “It was agreed that since Kony is a regional problem, he should be pursued into the Central African Republic.”
    He, however, suspected that Kony was heading for Sudan's western Darfur region.

    The joint military offensive was launched on December 15, 2008 after Kony refused to sign the final peace agreement.

    The operation, codenamed Operation Lightning Thunder, involving ground troops and jet-fighters, pounded LRA bases in Garamba forest in eastern Congo, killing some rebels and sending others in disarray.

    The UPDF withdrew from Congo at the end of March when the time-frame given by the Khartoum government elapsed.

    It, however, maintained intelligence officers to help the Congolese army flush out the remaining rebels. The UPDF returned to the war-front when the rebels sneaked into the Central African Republic.