New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Suspended Kony Hunt Worries Civilians

Photo: Voxcom/IRIN
Some of the LRA soldiers sit outside, Sudan, April 2007.

International and local civil society organisations operating in areas affected by LRA rebel activities in the Central African Republic (CAR) have appealed to Uganda and the US to remain committed to efforts aimed at ending threats by Africa's longest armed rebellion.

This comes after Uganda and the US troops in CAR suspended the four-year hunt operation against LRA leader Joseph Kony and his commanders, following a directive by African Union (AU) early this week.

The AU has since suspended CAR that is under control of the military junta, which called for the withdraw of all foreign forces.

Invisible Children, Enough Project, and The Resolve said in a joint statement on Wednesday that civilians will face heightened attrocities if Uganda and the US end operations to counter Kony.

"As the international community seeks to address the upheaval in CAR, it is critical that they find ways to sustain efforts to address LRA violence. Premature withdrawal would have devastating and immediate consequences for civilians in LRA-affected areas," said Ben Keesey, chief executive officer of Invisible Children.

Keesey added that: "It gives Kony a new lease on life, enabling him to regain power by initiating new rounds of abductions in communities that will be left totally unprotected and vulnerable to LRA attacks."

The Ugandan men of the gun have reportedly put off their hunt operation for the elusive LRA warlord, Joseph Kony.

The LRA insurgency has affected Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and CAR.

Kony, is reported in to be in Sudan's western region of Darfur with about 400 fighters.

The organisations observed that over the past three years, the Ugandan-led, US-supported operations helped reduce the LRA's killings of civilians by more than 90% and enabled dozens of LRA fighters and abductees to safely defect from the World's most brutal rebel organisation.

Last week, 28 women and children were released from LRA captivity in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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