Uganda, Congo agree on joint strategy to fight rebel group

from Xinhua
Published on 28 Dec 2005
KAMPALA, Dec 28, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) - Ugandan and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) authorities have agreed on a joint strategy to fight the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group fighting the Ugandan government.
The Ugandan People's Defense Force (UPDF) spokesman Maj. Felix Kulaije told Xinhua by telephone on Wednesday that Uganda's Chief of Defense Forces Gen. Aronda Nyakairima met the Kinshasa authorities who allowed the UPDF to carry out joint operations with its army against the LRA rebels in Garamba zone in the northeastern part of the central African country.

He said a joint verification team is going to work out the modalities and after, a joint action against Vincent Otti and his fighters hiding in Garamba National Park will be carried out.

According to the Ugandan military, Vincent Otti who is the LRA' s second-in-command led more than 50 rebels entering Congo early September from southern Sudan.

The military says that the rebels are moving about with their wives, children and Sudanese they abducted on their way to Congo.

The DRC becomes the second country Uganda is signing an agreement of understanding with to wipe out the LRA rebels who have been fighting the Ugandan government in the last 19 years. The rebellion has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Uganda signed a protocol with Sudan in 2002 allowing the UPDF to enter southern Sudan to fight the LRA rebels who had their bases there.

The understanding between Uganda and the DRC came shortly after the International Court of Justice ruled against Uganda for invading Congo and plundering its natural resources. The DRC wants 10 billion U.S. dollars in reparations.

In 1998, Uganda invaded the DRC to root out rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces who were using their bases in eastern DRC to launch attacks against Uganda.