Crossfire War: East Africa; Uganda – Senior Officer of LRA Killed Near Sudanese

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Night Watch: KAMPALA – A senior officer of the military cult Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been killed by Ugandan troops near the Sudanese border.

The LRA recently celebrated the death of John Garang who was killed last month in a helicopter crash. The day before he had ordered the LRA to leave southern Sudan, an area they used to attack civilians in northern Uganda and also southern Sudan.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lobul was killed Friday in a gunbattle with soldiers near Okidi village, west of the town Kitgum. Captain Paddy Ankunda, quoted by Reuters said, “We have stepped up our operations against all suspected LRA hideouts in northern Uganda and southern Sudan.” Kitgum is about 280 m (450 km) north of Uganda’s capital Kampala.

This war has continued for the better part of 19 years in remote northern Uganda forcing the displacing of 1.6 million people in a conflict long neglected by the international community. I am not sure when the LRA was formed but its leader is a self-proclaimed mystic Joseph Kony who has never given a precise outline to his purpose except to oppose Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni.

It should be obivious this personalized divine influence intends to rule as much as he can so the death of one of his most important assistants is some of the best news to come out of this region in years. The LRA has distinguished itself by targeting civilians, mutilating survivors and kidnapping thousands of children who are conscripted to serve as fighters, porters and sex slaves.

This modus operandi is extremely similar to groups that have emerged from time to time in West Africa especially Liberia. The diamond black market is one of the financial foundations for groups like this and quite possibly the international drug traffic.

If the government in Khartoum follows up on its new pledge of working with all Sudanese people then it may not be to unrealistic to hope for some cooperation with Kampala against a threat to both of them and a serious obstacle to economic development.

Night Watch Information Service

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.