Saturday, February 28, 2009

US military provided 17 advisers, $1m in fuel, satellite phones and intelligence for raid on LRA in DR Congo

The US sent 17 advisers from AFRICOM to work with UPDF on Operation Lightning Thunder against LRA in DR Congo.

Source: Sunday Monitor report by Angelo Izama, Kampala 25 February 2009:
US, Uganda to discuss military cooperation
A US military official, Brig. Gen. D. Christopher Leins is in Uganda to discuss military cooperation.

This visit comes in the backdrop of a New York Times article which revealed details of US military assistance to the UPDF in operation “Lightning Thunder”.

The article said, at the request of Uganda, the US sent 17 advisers from its new Africa Command to which Gen. Leins belongs, to work with UPDF on the Garamba operation.

It also said the US military provided a million dollars in fuel as well as satellite phones and intelligence for the operation which it said was personally authorised by ex-US President George Bush.

Yesterday, Army Spokesman, Felix Kulayigye said the UPDF had made no further requests for assistance from the American military and that there was no “on-going” assistance currently to operation Lightning Thunder.

Earlier, the army in a press release said Gen. Leins and the Chief of Defence Forces Gen Aronda Nyakairima, met at the Ministry of Defence Headquarters in Mbuya and discussed mutual cooperation.

In a follow-up interview, Maj. Kulaigye said Lightning Thunder was only mentioned in brief and that the discussion was focused on training assistance for officers.

The US Embassy also said the hunt for Kony had not been discussed.
[Cross posted to Congo Watch and Uganda Watch]

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