Uganda

Ugandan troops prepare to fight new rebel group

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KAMPALA, May 2, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Ugandan army, Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) has created a special battalion in West Nile, northwestern Uganda to deal with the People's Redemption Army (PRA) , a new rebel group.

The northern Uganda army spokesman, Tabaro Kiconco, told Xinhua by telephone on Monday that 850 Local Defense Unit (LDU) guards have been undergoing a three-month intensive military training to prepare for any threat that may be caused by the PRA.

He said the guards now form a new battalion, the West Nile Task Force I commanded by Major Robert Ocama.

The Army Commander Aronda Nyakayirima said last Saturday that since operation started in 2002 to root out the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels fighting Uganda from Sudan, elements of PRA in West Nile were trying to coordinate with the LRA.

He said Ugandan military intelligence officers have on several occasions arrested suspected PRA rebels in West Nile and western Uganda.

LRA rebels have been fighting the Ugandan government for the last 19 years, killing tens of thousands of people and displacing over 1.4 million others.