News24

LRA leader killed in CAR

2010-01-02 18:48

Kampala - Ugandan troops killed a top commander of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army in the Central African Republic, a military spokesperson said on Saturday.

"Bok Abudema was killed north of Ndjema in the Central African Republic on Friday", defence and army spokesperson Felix Kulayigye told AFP in Kampala by telephone.

"This was a New Year's gift to Uganda," Kulayigye said. "He was a notorious commander but his life has come to an end."

Kulayige said Abudema was the only casualty of the raid, but two women who had been with him were recovered by the troops.

In November Kulayige said Ugandan special forces had killed another senior commander of the LRA, Okello Kutti, in the Central African Republic near its eastern border with Sudan.

And in September he said the army had captured a top bodyguard of LRA chief Joseph Kony during a similar operation in the same country.

In CAR with permission

The Ugandan army said at the time it was pursuing the rebels in the Central African Republic, which has no border with Uganda, with Bangui's permission.

Through the 1990s, the LRA's activities were concentrated largely in northern Uganda, but when the army launched successive operations against them, the group moved east into Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan as well as the Central African Republic.

Last month UN human rights chief Navi Pillay demanded the capture of LRA leaders for crimes against humanity in new reports detailing an orgy of killings, torture and rape of hundreds of civilians by the group.

The reports, adding to the evidence of atrocities and LRA abductions of hundreds of women and children for use as sex slaves or porters, said the rebel leaders must be brought before the International Criminal Court.

"These attacks and systematic and widespread human rights violations carried out by the LRA... may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity," the report on DR Congo said.

ICC

"The international community, including governments in the region, should co-operate with the International Criminal Court to search for, arrest and surrender the LRA leaders accused of crimes against humanity," it said.

The LRA first appeared in northern Uganda in 1988.

Kony and two other leaders are wanted by the ICC on 33 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The rebels and government concluded peace negotiations in April 2008, but Kony has repeatedly failed to sign a deal already inked by the Ugandan government.