Uganda: July 30, 2002


Updated details on one of the foulest LRA massacres on record, where over 60 people were slaughtered during the night of 24-25 July in the village of Pajong - the Italian Catholic news agency MISNA's sources in the area reported that the rebels forced two mothers to kill their own children, but the third mother who refused was spared. Other reports claimed that fathers were made to kill their children before they were hacked to death together with their wives. All 20 hostages (mostly girls between the ages of 12 and 14) taken by the LRA were released by the 27th. The massacre was sparked because 60 year-old army veteran Mzee Walter Lakana Amone disarmed, then killed two rebels on 1 July and then escaped with their rifles to report the raiders' presence to a nearby UPDF detachment.

Word is that the Ugandan military is preparing to launch another large-scale round-up operation to capture of the group responsible for the massacre. Major Kayanja Muhanga, former operations commander of the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JAT) from 1999 to 2002, was recently sent upcountry to flush out terrorists. A "daring" military intelligence officer who smashed urban terrorists in Kampala, Muhanga had recently been castigated in the press for the disappearance of thousands of dollars in JAT funds. Muhanga made quite a few high-level enemies during his tenure, which supports the claim that he was framed. - Adam Geibel


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