SUDAN WATCH: Uganda says Sudan aware of Kony's presence in Darfur - US's Natsios says Turabi's loyalists seeking to undermine referendum

Friday, October 29, 2010

Uganda says Sudan aware of Kony's presence in Darfur - US's Natsios says Turabi's loyalists seeking to undermine referendum

JOSEPH Kony, leader of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) terrorist organisation, is hiding in Sudan's Darfur region after fleeing a pursuit by the Uganda army in Central African Republic (CAR), the army said on Friday.

"Joseph Kony is no longer in Central African Republic. He crossed into Sudan a few days ago but some elements of LRA commanded by Dominic Ongwen are still in CAR," Felix Kulayigye, defence ministry spokesman told a news conference.

An International Criminal Court (ICC) indictee, Kony often escapes into Sudan whenever he's pursued in CAR because the Ugandan army lacks the mandate to operate there, the army said.

Andrew Natsios, former U.S. special envoy to Sudan, on Tuesday said that elements within the Sudanese government loyal to the Islamist opposition leader Hassan Al-Turabi are seeking to derail the January 2011 referendum in order to avert what appears to be the likely separation of the South.

Natsios [U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan in 2006-7] who just returned from a trip that took him to South Sudan said that while president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and his 2nd Vice president Ali Osman Taha are "moderates", he pointed fingers at pro-Turabi figures within the regime who do not want the South to separate.

Full story below.

LRA's Kony now in Darfur-Ugandan army
Source: Reuters by Elias Biryabarema
Date: Friday, 29 October 2010 17:21:54 GMT
(KAMPALA) - Joseph Kony, leader of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, is hiding in Sudan's Darfur region after fleeing a pursuit by the Uganda army in Central African Republic (CAR), the army said on Friday.

The rebel group, which has waged a brutal insurgency for nearly 20 years, was ejected from northern Uganda in 2005 and has since roamed remote jungle straddling the borders of Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.

The LRA is known for chilling violence including hacking body parts off victims, the abduction of young boys to fight and young girls to be used as sex slaves.

"Joseph Kony is no longer in Central African Republic. He crossed into Sudan a few days ago but some elements of LRA commanded by Dominic Ongwen are still in CAR," Felix Kulayigye, defence ministry spokesman told a news conference.

An International Criminal Court (ICC) indictee, Kony often escapes into Sudan whenever he's pursued in CAR because the Ugandan army lacks the mandate to operate there, the army said.

"We cannot pronounce ourselves on whether Kony receives any support from the Sudanese authorities but what we can confirm is that (the Sudanese) are aware of his presence on their territory and they've not done anything to chase him," he said.

The Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) has a forward operating base in Obo, CAR, where it has been fighting the LRA with U.S. backing since September 2009.

According to rights groups, the LRA has abducted hundreds of people in central Africa over the past 18 months and killed many of them, often by crushing their skulls with clubs.

Separately, Kulaigye said the army, the UPDF was committed to remaining neutral in Uganda's forthcoming presidential poll.

President Yoweri Museveni, a former guerrilla, has in the past been accused of using the army to intimidate the populace to vote for him and soldiers to facilitate vote rigging.

The commander of armed forces, Lt. Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, was quoted earlier this year in the local media as saying the army would crush the opposition if they engaged in violence.

"The job of ensuring security in elections is for the Uganda Police and the UPDF recognises that Uganda is a multi-party democracy and respects all the political parties and their leaders. We take no sides at all," said Kulaigye. (Editing by David Clarke and Myra MacDonald)
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The Lord's Resistance Army: The Hunt for Africa's Most Wanted



Photo: Mbonih Ndele Mari was abducted by the LRA outside Niangara and left for dead by them after they cut off her lips and her ears. She is now in a hospital in Niangara. Her children are being looked after by family close by. Source: pulitzercenter.org/Joe Bavier & Marcus Bleasdale



Photo: The Chief and elders of the village of Daqua perform local rituals to exorcise the spirits from former child soldiers. The children complain of aggressive dreams and nightmares involving fantasies and killing. They want to get any help possible to stop these thoughts. The local chief and witch doctors know there is stronger medicine and help available but as no NGO work in the area to help the children they do what they can to help. Image by Marcus Bleasdale. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2010.



Photo: South Sudanese children displaced by attacks by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the town of Mundri, Western Equatoria state, where some 8,000 Sudanese have gathered fleeing the guerrilla raids. Credit: Photo by Peter Martell/IRIN
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INTERVIEW: Former U.S. special envoy says Turabi’s loyalists seeking to undermine referendum
Source: Sudan Tribune online
Date: Thursday, 28 October 2010 - excerpt:
October 27, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – The former U.S. special envoy to Sudan on Tuesday said that elements within the government loyal to the Islamist opposition leader Hassan Al-Turabi are seeking to derail the January 2011 referendum in order to avert what appears to be the likely separation of the South.

Andrew Natsios who just returned from a trip that took him to South Sudan said that while president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and his 2nd Vice president Ali Osman Taha are "moderates", he pointed fingers at pro-Turabi figures within the regime who do not want the South to separate. [...]

He also warned that any move to delay the vote by more than two weeks "could bring violence" to the region. Furthermore, he said that the Obama administration should be prepared to use its air force should the North attempt to invade the South or take over the oilfields.

Click here to read full story.
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ENOUGH'S POO-STIRRING

Without Sudan, it will be impossible to successfully confront the LRA
Source: CSMonitor.com by Ledio Cakaj, Guest blogger
Date: Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - excerpt:
Sudan has not been included in meetings to discuss ways to fight back against the Lord's Resistance Army. This is a missed opportunity, says Ledio Cakaj, a guest blogger from the Enough Project. ...
ON LRA, AFRICAN UNION OVERESTIMATES MILITARY MIGHT, LEAVES OUT KEY ACTOR
Source: Enough Project.org by Ledio Cakaj
Date: Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - excerpt:
CORRECTION: Enough learned that in fact the Sudanese embassy in Bangui sent representation to the meeting but that no high-ranking officials from Khartoum attended.
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Copy of insightful comment by Ibrahim Adam posted at above:
Ledio: you're simply poo-stirring against the Sudanese government, vis-a-vis the LRA regional insecurity issue, aren't you not?
If not, care to explain this patently absurd and contradictory statement in your post below?
"simply to press for potential Sudanese support to the LRA to end."
Thought not.
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Note from Sudan Watch Editor:
Heh. Poo-stirring. Well said, Mr Adams. I enjoy reading your comments.
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Photo: Villagers who have formed a local self defense force move during a training session in the village of Bangadi in northeastern Congo February 18, 2009. In the face of attacks and massacres by Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, who have slaughtered some 900 Congolese civilians since December, villagers in Bangadi have formed a self-defense force with locally made weapons and have twice repelled LRA attacks in recent months. (Credit: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters/CSMonitor.com/Enough Project, 27 Oct 2010)

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