CAR villagers kill Ugandan rebels

2010-05-17 18:10

Bangui - Villagers at Guerekindo in eastern Central African Republic (CAR) killed two Ugandan rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army in a self-defence initiative, the Red Cross at nearby M'boki town reported on Monday.

"The LRA men launched an attack at around 16:00 (on Friday) when most of the inhabitants were returning to the village from their work in the fields. Alerted by those who fled, men armed themselves with knives, bows and arrows, machetes and locally made guns to organise a riposte," the Red Cross said.

"During the fighting that followed, two members of the rebel group were killed and others were injured. The remainder took to their heels, vowing to come back to take their revenge," the Red Cross added.

Faced with repeated LRA attacks, the local authorities in March urged the local population to set up self-defence groups to protect the villages. The CAR government had already given the Ugandan army a green light in June 2009 to pursue the LRA on its territory.

The LRA took up arms against the government in northern Uganda in 1988 but in recent years has moved into remote areas of nearby countries after coming under pressure from the Ugandan army.

LRA rebels have killed more than 200 people in the eastern CAR since 2008, according to a local residents' association.

The rebels have been particularly active in the sector between M'boki and Zemio on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since February 2010.

In the last week of March, three rebel attacks left 26 dead, including 11 civilians, according to a CAR military source.