KAMPALA, Uganda — Ugandan officials are renewing a claim made with some frequency over the years: That rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army are receiving backing from the government of Sudan.
Col. Felix Kulayigye, the military’s spokesman, said some of the LRA rebels captured by the Ugandan military wore “new uniforms” supplied by Sudan, though Nyakairima said military officials have not found LRA fighters with weapons supplied by Sudan.
President BarackObama sent 100 U.S. forces into Central Africa last year to help regional militaries track Kony, and an online campaign this year by the advocacy group Invisible Children made Kony a YouTube sensation.
“We have no relationship, whatsoever, with this Ugandan rebel and we have not supported and are not supporting him now,” Masar said. He said Kony “is nearer to South Sudan than to us and, in any case, we have no reason to support him. We rely on our own forces and we do not need anybody to support us in defending our country and ourselves.”
The accusations by Uganda that Sudan is aiding Kony come as the threat of war between Sudan and South Sudan has increased. The two sides have launched multiple cross-border attacks and Sudan has launched airstrikes in recent weeks.
Ugandan officials have long accused Khartoum of supporting the LRA in retaliation for Uganda’s support of the rebel movement known as the SPLA, which is now South Sudan’s military. South Sudan broke away from Sudan last year after voting for independence.
“It’s been universally known that the LRA has been receiving support from elements within the Khartoum government or the Sudan Armed Forces,” Oryem said. He said Khartoum still gives Kony medicine, guns and uniforms — “the kinds of things a rebel wants.”
“The original plan of Sudan was to use Kony to destabilize the region,” he said. “They wanted to use the LRA to attack Chad. Kony was central to this plan … . Kony still has some assistance, not much; it’s covert assistance. “
Ugandan officials are concerned that Kony, whose brutal group has navigated the region’s porous borders in a highly successful campaign of murder and the abduction of children, could exploit renewed border tensions between Sudan and South Sudan to get back near Ugandan territory.View Entire Story
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