MONUC calls for joint effort on rebels
Thursday, 9th October, 2008

By Frank Mugabi

THE UN Peace Keeping Mission in the DR Congo (MONUC) has called for a joint strategy to deal with the Lord�s Resistance Army and the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) rebel groups.

The mission�s political affairs officer, Jacob Mogeni, told a cross-border security meeting last week that the two rebel groups were a major threat to the peace along the Uganda-Congo border, as demonstrated by the renewed LRA attacks in eastern Congo.

He also revealed in the Arua gathering that the ADF was establishing fresh linkages with a Lendu militia gang in Ituri, to plan new attacks aimed at toppling President Yoweri Museveni�s regime.

The ADF, a Muslim fundamentalist group created in 1996, set up rear bases in the DR Congo where they recruited and trained fighters with the promise of money and education.

Mogeni cautioned the Uganda, Sudan and Congo governments against sitting back to wait for MONUC to attack the rebels.

�We have read in the Ugandan media that we are planning to attack the LRA. As a UN force, we have no mandate to pursue the rebels. We can only launch an offensive if the rebels fired at us,� he stressed.

He added that they would support the host national army through various ways including providing military aid to comprehensively deal with the destabilising forces.

Such an assistance, Mogeni said, would make more impact if the three governments worked with the civil society organisations on a joint strategy.

He revealed that they were already helping the Congo government deploy more troops to protect people in the rebel-infested areas of Dungu, Duru and Kiliwa.

The target, he said, was to bring in over 3,000 Congo government troops to boost the existing 600.

He, however, said the efforts were being frustrated by the inaccessibility of the areas because of the dense forests.

�There are no roads and as such we have to airlift everything from soldiers, food and tractors, to tents,� he regretted.

Mogeni revealed that though they, with the Congo government, had dismantled most of the armed groups in Ituri, the Lendu militias were still teaming up with the ADF and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) to destabilise Uganda.

The NALU, also a Muslim fundamentalist group, is said to have been created in the 1980�s.

Mogeni reported that there were also about 700 rebels under commander Hudo Rukwage in Abia, about 100 under Feza in Nadvi, 120 under Brida in Makoboyo and a similar number under Brig. Kato in Mawalika areas, all in the DR Congo.

The West Nile regional army spokesman, Capt. Robert Kamara ,called on the fighters to take advantage of the blanket amnesty.

He noted that despite the numerous threats, the north had remained peaceful due to the close cooperation between the army and civil society organisations.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
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East Africa
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