Uganda: Rebels Retreat Into The Congo



September 22, 2005: Along the borders of Kenya and Sudan, the army has been forcing tribesmen to give up their AK-47s. In the last decade, a flood of cheap (as little as $20) Cold War surplus AK-47s have come to the region, allowing even teenage boys to tote an assault rifle as they watched herds of goats. This led to a much higher body count when tribes carried out their traditional cattle raids. In the past, spears and bows caused few casualties. But with assault rifles, entire families, and villages, were being wiped out. With the border region on the verge of being depopulated, the army began seizing AK-47s. But the tribesmen knew that losing their assault rifles, while neighboring tribes (in Uganda, Kenya or Sudan) still had theirs, could be fatal. This was made clear when it got around what had happened to those tribes that got raided after the army took their AK-47s. Now the tribesmen hide their AK-47s when the army is around, and bring them out the rest of the time. 

September 21, 2005: It is entirely possible that LRA fighters are retreating into Sudan and the Congo. Ugandan offensives in Sudan have destroyed several LRA base camps and LRA leadership defections in northern Uganda have improved the Ugandan army's intelligence. The "attacks" near Yei may have been looting expeditions by LRA fighters who are fleeing north.

September 20, 2005: Some 50 LRA fighters left northern Uganda and moved into the  Congo (DRC).

September 17, 2005:  Sudanese security forces (former SPLA units) had moved out of Yei in an attempt to interdict a large group of LRA fighters. An LRA spokesman denied the September 13 attack occurred. 

September 14, 2005:  Fourteen LRA gunmen attacked the Openzinzi Prison in Adjumani, Uganda. 100 prisoners fled, some of them with LRA connections. Ugandan police and military units managed to re-arrest a number of escapees, but at last report at least half of the escapees were unaccounted for. 

September 13, 2005:  LRA fighters have attacked targets in south Sudan, using Uganda as a base. Up to 40 LRA rebels allegedly left Uganda and moved north. The LRA attacked the villages of Loka and Lainya on the Juba-Yei highway, in an area northeast of Yei.  




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