No LRA Defections-Invisible Children

October 2, 2013 7:23 am0 comments by:

Kampala-Reports of alleged mass defection by members of the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA have been refuted.
The United Nations, announced last week, that a group of Lord’s Resistance Army rebels estimated at more than 1600 had defected from their base in the Central African Republic.
It indicated that it was sending a Brigade to Bangui to investigate if indeed the rebels had defected and were waiting for disarmament.
But Invisible Children a Non-Governmental Organization, which has been tracking LRA activities for a long time, says the reports of mass defections are false.
Micheal Mubangizi, the Regional Spokesperson of Invisible Children explains in an email sent to the Continent Observer that a small group of potential defectors from an unidentified armed force reportedly made contact with Central African officials in Haute-Kotto, CAR, and indicated that they were a part of a larger group located in the same prefecture.
“The potential defectors made known their need for supplies and communicated the group’s desire to surrender. In response, a UN-facilitated delegation was sent to this area earlier this week but preliminary reports from the delegation show no signs of a mass LRA defection”. Mubangizi stated in the email.
“We have not received any verified information about defections over the past 72 hours, and there are questions about whether or not the potential defectors were LRA members or elements of another armed group. We have no evidence to support the claims made in various media outlets that 1,000 LRA have surrendered. Best estimates put the total number of LRA combatants in all of central Africa at approximately 250 fighters, in addition to 250 abducted women and children, making a mass defection of this scale highly implausible”. Invisible Children explained in the email.
The regional armies that are backed by a group of 100 American Special Forces are currently camped in the Central African Republic in pursuit of the LRA rebels.
The Ugandan army however says the Seleka militias who took over the Government in Central African Republic have frustrated their efforts.
Gen Katumba Wamala the Chief of Defense Forces, of the Ugandan army says they have been forced to suspend operations to avoid endangering the lives of the forces due to lack of corporation from the Seleka militias.
Joseph Kony and his top commanders, who are, indicted by the International Criminal Court in Hague, have a US$ 5M bounty on their heads, put up by the US Government.

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