SUDAN WATCH: US sees LRA as a terrorist organisation - Pronk says peace in Southern Sudan fragile

Thursday, September 22, 2005

US sees LRA as a terrorist organisation - Pronk says peace in Southern Sudan fragile

Paul at Uganda-CAN publishes a post Sep 22 featuring a Reuters report on Jan Pronk, the UN's special envoy in Sudan, who says the peace agreement between South Sudan's former rebel group SPLM/A and Khartoum regime is fragile.

Mr Pronk is briefing the UN Security Council.
He said Dr. John Garang's death last July, which caused sporadic rioting, has been followed by a recent upswing in LRA activity in southern Sudan, as well as reports that some elements of the Sudanese military were still supporting the rebel group.

He also expressed concern over the possibility of renewed conflict in southern Sudan as refugees begin returning to their homes there despite delays in the arrival of crucial humanitarian aid and UN peacekeepers.
Also, Paul writes:
"Uganda-CAN urges the world to think of the conflicts in southern Sudan, Darfur, and northern Uganda as part of an interrelated regional conflict which can only be resolved through cooperation among all parties and the signing of regional peace agreements. Read more on Uganda-CAN's website about southern Sudan and Darfur and information on key actors there."
Going by various news reports, Sudan, Darfur, northern Uganda (and I would add DR Congo) appear to be part of an interrelated regional conflict (and it would seem when it comes to DR Congo, some connections go back to Rwanda's genocide) which was the reason for starting Uganda Watch and Congo Watch last year.

Note, the US State Department recognises the LRA as a terrorist organisation.
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Museveni wants Kony extradited

Uganda-CAN picks up on a report by New Vision that claims President Museveni has demanded the immediate extradition of Kony and remnants of his army that have recently crossed into the DR Congo (DRC).

According to the report, sixty fighters led by Kony's second-in-command Vincent Otti recently fled northern Uganda and southern Sudan to cross into northeastern DRC. The Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) claimed the rebels are hiding in Garamba game park in the DRC.
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Uganda says top LRA rebel wants asylum in Congo

The deputy leader of Uganda's rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is asking for political asylum in Congo after fleeing into its remote northeastern jungles, Uganda's defence minister said today.

Uganda says Vincent Otti and about 50 fighters left their hideouts in southern Sudan's lawless mountains last week and crossed into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday.

But the Congolese government said on Friday it had no information about the group's presence on its territory or of any asylum request.

See full story Sep 23 2005 (Standard)
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Bush held talks with Rwandan leader re Great Lakes region

Recent news reports say terrorist groups aim to set up camp in east Africa.

Previous posts here at Sudan Watch note:

- The US has a sophisticated intelligence base in Djibouti housing 800 special-operations troops.

- A meeting held at the White House last April between President Bush and Rwanda's leader Paul Kagame to discuss the Great Lakes region. [The Great Lakes region has been marred by conflict since Rwanda's 1994 genocide, in which up to 937,000 people were killed]

- The US promises support for military operations to fight LRA.

Rwanda's Paul Kagame at White House

Photo: President George W. Bush meets with the President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in the Oval Office Friday, April 15, 2005. (White House photo by Krisanne Johnson)

See Congo Watch post 16 April 2005 - Bush Holds Talks with Rwandan Leader at White House. Excerpt:
They also discussed a host of other regional issues from peacekeeping in southern Sudan and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo to helping bring elections to Burundi. On all, the Rwandan leader says Mr. Bush vowed to continue his engagement in African affairs. "We requested the president to use his powers to help Africa in different ways, in socioeconomic development, in assuring there is peace and security not only in our region but also in the whole continent. And the president was very supportive of that," he said.
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Issue of terrorism is reshaping alliances in a surprising way

Snippets from BBC report Sudan eyes gains from terror talks Sep 22 2005:
The US has set up an anti-terror base to monitor East Africa.

Speaking at the conference, Sudan's Vice-President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha said that the Darfur conflict was continuing only because of foreign interference.

He was talking about Eritrea, which has not been invited to the counter-terrorism conference.

Mr Taha called on Eritrea to involve itself in dialogue to help to stabilise Darfur. He also made a sustained attack on the international media for focussing attention on Darfur.

Economic sanctions imposed by the US make it difficult to attract investors and develop the economy. The sanctions are seen as a major impediment to normalisation in a country impatient to rejoin the world community.

The discovery of large oil reserves in recent years has made the search for a diplomatic solution even more urgent.

The decision of the CIA to agree to come to Sudan shows the pragmatism of the intelligence community against the continuing political desire of America to punish Sudan for what has happened in Darfur.

The world may not even be able to agree on how to define terrorism, and it was hard to secure agreement on a resolution to condemn terrorism "in all its forms" proposed by the UK at the recent UN summit of world leaders.
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Missionary Blog Watch

Missionary Blog Watch keeps an eye on Christian missionary blogs on the net in order to introduce you to interesting posts, new bloggers and developments on Missionary-Blogs.com.

[via Keith with thanks]

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