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Posts Tagged ‘Southern Sudan

Uganda: How Assault on LRA Was Executed

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How the attack was planned, executed

Grace Matsiko, Risdel Kasasira & Paul Amoru

Kampala

Sunday’s lightning raid by a joint force of Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudanese forces on Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebel camps was the culmination of months of preparation by the UPDF as a Plan B in case the Juba peace talks failed, Daily Monitor can reveal.

UPDF Attack of LRA Bases in Garamba National Park - 15 December 2008

UPDF Attack of LRA Bases in Garamba National Park - 15 December 2008

Many of the military drills for the exercise were done in Barlege in Lira, in Kitgum, in Gulu and Singo military training camp in Mubende, according to officers who participated in the preparations spanning over six months.

The crack unit now deployed in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo to hunt for Kony comprised several elements of the UPDF. The combat troops were picked from the air force, armoured brigade, intelligence, commando unit, marines and paratroopers.

Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told Daily Monitor that preparations for ‘Plan B’ began in June when President Museveni issued an order recalling Brig. Patrick Kankiriho from the UPDF 3rd Division in Moroto, where he was a division commander, to camp in Pader.

He was later followed by Lt. Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the First son who is also the commander of the Special Forces after he was discharged from the Presidential Guard Brigade to join the regular forces. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Col. Moses Rwakitarate, an equally young and energetic officer was drafted onto the team.

Meanwhile, the troops on the border regions, including those inside Sudan, were put under a new group in the UPDF that has come to be called the “new generation”. Most of the commanders in this group are said to be in their 40s and fairly better trained and educated than the older generation of army officers.

The military preparations were boosted by defections from the LRA ranks and bloody internal purges among its officers which saw the execution of Kony’s erstwhile deputy, Vincent Otti.

Under pressure from the international community, especially the United States, Kampala, Juba and Kinshasa then signed an agreement that would allow joint cross-border operations against rebel groups in the region.

This meant that the UPDF could follow the LRA across the border into DR Congo where the rebels had set up camp in the jungles of Garamba National Park, protected by the harsh terrain, the several thousand kilometres from Uganda’s borders, and the incompetence of the poorly armed, trained and paid DR Congo army.

At a meeting of regional security chiefs earlier in the year, different tasks were given to different actors and other countries in the Great Lakes region affected by activities of the LRA. Monuc forces pledged medical, food and other logistics for the foot soldiers of the United Front against Kony and his commanders, sources told Daily Monitor, while the UPDF and SPLA were tasked to provide intelligence for the mission. The Congolese forces were to take part in combat operations against the rebels.

With the pieces of the puzzle finally coming together, only one piece remained elusive; a peace deal had been agreed and a date – November 30 – pencilled in for Kony to sign. The more pacifist countries among the international community involved in the talks insisted on giving peace one more chance.

The United States had already shown its impatience with the stop-go nature of the talks earlier in the year when its top diplomat on Africa, Ms Jendayi Frazer said Washington would not sit by and watch while Kony re-armed in Garamba.

After one of his numerous no-shows at a signing ceremony in South Sudan, the US ambassador to Kampala, Mr Steven Browning said: “This latest failure to sign, combined with recent atrocities committed by the LRA in eastern Congo, indicate that the LRA leadership is not committed to peace. This in turn calls into question the value of continuing the efforts of regional and international facilitators to advance the Juba peace process.”

After Kony failed to turn up, yet again, on November 30 the pin finally dropped.
Early on Sunday, months of military preparation gave way to action when UPDF fighter jets took off from Yambio in the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA)-controlled territory of South Sudan and attacked LRA bases in Suke, Pilipili, Nyere, Garamba park and Bayoute, all in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other attack helicopters swooned in from Dungu, where a DR Congo army brigade under the command of Col. Muhindo Mundosi has a base. As the air raids pounded rebel bases, infantry units closed in from Dungu, Yambio, Iba, Yei and Maridi, military sources said.

The rebel camps that came under lightning attacks were covering a distance of close to 100km.
Capt Chris Magezi, the operation’s spokesman, said Central African Republic was supportive of the UPDF operations in the area but could not commit forces because of internal problems.

Details of casualties on either side were not available by press time yesterday but this latest offensive, with its regional support and international backing, albeit covert, offers countries in the region the best chance to defeat one of the most notorious armed groups in the Great Lakes region. If successful, it could offer a working model for joint cross-border operations against other armed groups in the region.

Prospects on Sudan’s General Elections 2009

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Juba- December 11th 2008
SPLA is National Army of Southern Sudan, says Dr. Martin
By Isaac Vuni

The Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) is a national Amy to protect Southern Sudan as from border of 1/1/1956 including Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended 21 years of destructive civil war between northern and southern Sudanese through political negotiation on 9th January 2005.

Contributing on Sudan’s National Election Act of 2008 debate organized by Association of Inter Media (AIM) today afternoon, minister of Goss Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Martin Elias said Southern Sudan politicians advocating for war than peace should be voted out in the coming national election because such leaders are not interested seeing southerners living in peace.

Dr. Martin who is also the chairman of Southern Sudan Democratic Forum Party warn leaders who want to click on power to know that there are nine  political parties ready to takes leadership of Southern Sudan through a participatory election scheduled for next year.

Adding that southerners are literate on what choices to make but needed adequate educative information for making change during the coming national election than  electing illiterate sons and daughters of chiefs.

He emphasized that cardinal issue for Goss government would be to allow free expression of ideas during election campaign by providing clear guidelines to voters and contestants.

Dr. Martin says it will be nice to fund registered and recognized political parties either by governments or donors but does not advocate for many parties funding so that electoral violence like in Kenya is minimize in the process of power transfer.

If you squander the coming referendum opportunity that will be concurrently conducted with Abyie people, southern leaders will be destroying future of Southern Sudanese and its children, he warns.

Responding to question whether the election will be free and fairs, Dr. Richard Mulla member of public account committee of Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) said it would be very difficult to tell but Presidential candidate must be seconded by 15,000 registered voters in 18 states of Sudan.

However, Dr. Mulla acknowledged that  maintenance of 450 Seats of national assembly was agreed by all parties but that the 170 seats of SSLA  fate remains unclear including people holding dual-citizenship right  to vote or not.

He said the coming election would be of mixed types because geographical demarcated have not yet been done while  60% already allotted to ruling party,  25%  for women and  reaming goes to other contesting political parties.

He reminded audience that when Sudan became independent in January 1956, northern parliamentary political elite’s claimed that Southerners have agreed for a united Sudan through voting conducted on 19th December 1955.

This time round, he said, a presidential candidate must prove popular by getting at least 15,000 support from cross section of Sudanese in 18 states while 170 seat of SSLA remain unknown. Strangely electoral laws of 2009 was received two weeks ago yet to be distributed.

Earlier David Dau, Chief Executive officer of AIM complaint that many southern Sudanese do not have copy of 2009 election law since it was passed by national assembly in Kharoum.

In attendance was Dr Julia Aker Duwnya Undersecretary of Goss Parliamentary Affairs
Ends

Written by torit1955

December 13, 2008 at 11:59 am