Archive for ‘South Sudan’

December 30, 2008

Kony’s slaughter in Congo

The Washington Post reports:

A Ugandan rebel group known for its horrific cruelties has massacred 189 people and kidnapped at least 20 children over three days in northeastern Congo, U.N. officials reported Monday.
The cultlike Lord’s Resistance Army carried out the attacks on three villages between Thursday and Saturday, according to Ivo Brandau, a spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.
The group killed 40 people in the small town of Faradje on Thursday, and over the next two days, it attacked the villages of Doruma, where rebels massacred 89 people, and neighboring Gurba, where 60 were killed, Brandau said, citing reports that the United Nations received from local authorities.

This report by Stephanie Crummen deserves especial praise for these two paragraphs:

Although the Lord’s Resistance Army is associated with the political grievances of the Acholi people of northern Uganda, the group has mostly terrorized the Acholis over the past 20 years, proving to be more of a psychotic cult than a true rebellion. Its reclusive, messianic leader, Joseph Kony, claims to consult spirits and says he aims to establish a theocracy based on the Ten Commandments.
Over the years, however, his movement has earned a reputation as one of the most brutal groups on the continent, sexually enslaving young girls, abducting children and forcing new recruits to machete friends to death during induction ceremonies. The group has killed or disfigured more than 10,000 people — cutting off victims’ lips was a trademark — and abducted more than 20,000 children, as well as forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes, rights groups say.

Press accounts routinely refer to the LRA as “rebels,” which is sort of like calling Charles Manson a “youth adviser.” The LRA is, and always has been, a terrorist organization. The Post and Crummen deserve praise for pointing this out.

UPDATE: A report in Uganda’s New Vision indicates some of the fleeing LRA have already made it into South Sudan. Doruma is very close to the three-way junction of the borders of Congro, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. It seems obvious that the Dec. 14 joint attack on Kony’s base in the Garamba National Park caused the LRA to split up, fleeing in different directions, some heading north and west toward Doruma, others heading east toward Faradje and the Sudanese border.

UPDATE II: Meryl Yourish invokes a comparison between the slaughter in Congo and the situation in Gaza:

I have yet to hear of a special UN Security Council meeting being convened to discuss the crisis in the Congo, where innocent men, women, and children are being murdered for no apparent reason.

Well, yeah. But I don’t know if this is an appropriate analogy. Compared to Kony and the LRA, Hamas looks like a Boy Scout troop. (I’ve actually met two young survivors of an LRA raid.) If anything, the world’s willingness to ignore the LRA’s horrific savagery bespeaks . . . racism.

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December 27, 2008

Kony on the run

African terrorist Joseph Kony and his “Lord’s Resistance Army” flee their pursuers:

Ugandan rebels fleeing a multinational offensive have raided a Congolese village and killed at least 15 people, U.N. peacekeepers said on Friday.
Uganda, Congo and South Sudan launched a joint assault on December 14 against bases of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group, in Democratic Republic of Congo. But they have so far failed to corner its reclusive leader, Joseph Kony.
The United Nations mission in Congo (MONUC) said fleeing LRA fighters attacked the village of Faradje, near Congo’s porous border with Sudan, on December 24 and 25.

Looking at a map, Faradje is a crossroads town east-southeast of the Garamba National Park, where the LRA hideout was raided two weeks ago. Faradje is about 30 miles west of the border of South Sudan, but Kony’s gang can’t expect to gain safety by crossing that border toward Yei. More likely they’ll head south.

UPDATE: The Uganda New Vision has a better account, with a map that indicates the LRA has scattered three ways from Garamba:

On Christmas day, the rebels pounced on Bitima village on the Congolese side of the border with south Sudan, killing 13 people. The same day, another group hit Doroma near the Central Africa Republic (CAR), where they killed 12, ransacked homes and looted food and property. Simultaneously, other rebels attacked Faradge village, 150km from the allied forces’ base in Dungu, killing three people and abducting an unspecified number. Uganda, Congo and southern Sudan have a joint base in Dungu. On Christmas Eve, the rebels had ambushed a pick-up truck between Laforo and Mambe roads in South Sudan, along the border with the DRC. The allied forces found five civilians killed Southwest of Sekuru along the DRC-Sudan border.

From this, it appears that part of the LRA left Garama headed west and hit Doroma; another fragment went north and hit Bitima; and the third part went east toward South Sudan, hitting Faradje.

December 24, 2008

Khartoum still aiding Kony?

The end may be near for Joseph Kony, the African terrorist who has wrought horrible carnage in Uganda and Sudan. Ten days ago, Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo united in a military raid that destroyed the Congo hideout camp of Kony’s “Lord’s Resistance Army,” which has terrorized the region for 20 years.

Experts on the LRA have long suspected that the Sudan government in Kharthoum had armed and supported Kony’s killers in order to destabilize Uganda and undermine the efforts of South Sudan (predominantly Christian) to gain autonomy from the Muslim govenrment in Kharthoum.

In an interview with Uganda’s New Vision newspaper, Ugandan Gen. Aronda Nyakairima discussed the LRA raid and suggested that Khartoum may still be aiding Kony:

Of course, it was Khartoum that continued supporting LRA, otherwise we would have defeated them long ago.
When they stopped because of Juba being under the South Sudan government, they were no more.

In other words, once South Sudan (with their capital in the key transportation center of Juba) gained autonomy in 2005, this cut off Kony’s supply line to Khartoum. But when asked who is now arming Kony, Nyakairma says:

We don’t have intelligence to point at a country X or Y. But one wonders whether the old friends washed their hands clean. I can’t prove that. But studying what we captured will tell it all. It is also possible he was disarming people in the CAR. He also raided South Sudanese soldiers and there are hunters in Garamba. He could have picked guns here and there. But we can’t rule out supplies from his old friends.

“His old friends” = Khartoum. Fortunately, after two years of fruitless peace negotiations with the LRA, the United Nations Security Council is now fully supporting the military effort to hunt down Kony, who is charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.