Ugandan rebel attack on Sudanese village condemned

Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) guerrillas attacked a remote Sudanese village, killing 11 people and abducting 27 others, but the attack would not endanger peace talks under way, the military said on Wednesday.

The attack on February 19 saw a group of LRA fighters make an incursion on the Sudanese town of Source Yubu on the border with the Central African Republic, loot the town and abduct mostly women and children, the government-owned newspaper the New Vision reported.

“At this point, this single attack alone cannot derail the whole peace process. We strongly condemn the attack, which is very untimely,” said military spokesperson Paddy Ankunda, adding that the peace talks committee would investigate.

The New Vision reported that about 400 LRA fighters engaged the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the hour-long fight, resulting in the deaths of seven SPLA soldiers and one LRA fighter.

Negotiators in the talks, which have been taking place in south Sudan’s regional capital, Juba, since mid-2006, say that a peace agreement will be signed during the first week of March between the Ugandan government and the LRA.

A series of crucial treaties has been signed between the two sides in recent weeks, including a permanent ceasefire agreement that was signed on February 23.

The rebels are supposed to assemble in an area in southern Sudan in readiness for disarmament, demobilisation and resettlement, according to the draft peace agreement.

The LRA fought a vicious war against the government for 20 years, which displaced nearly two million, and the rebels are notorious for hacking off the limbs, ears and lips of northern Ugandans and recruiting child soldiers.—Sapa-dpa


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