The Ugandan army Wednesday has announced the end of pursuit operations in the Central African Republic (CAR) for the rebel Lord Resistance Army (LRA) and its wanted leader Joseph Kony, saying it has achieved its mission successfully.
“The decision to withdraw was premised on the realisation that the mission to neutralise the LRA has now been successfully achieved. The LRA’s capacity and means of making war against Uganda have been degraded,” said the spokesperson of the Ugandan Army Richard Karemire.
“Joseph Kony with less than 100 armed fighters is now weak and ineffective. He no longer poses any significant threat to Uganda’s security and Northern Uganda in particular,” he further said.
On 29 March 2017, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced the removal of the US military forces participating in the Regional Task Force against the LRA, pointing that the rebel group has been dramatically weakened.
“While its leader Joseph Kony remains in hiding, the AU-RTF has captured four of the five key LRA leaders,” said the AFRICOM which provided advice and assistance to the Ugandan troops operating under the flag of the African union.
Sudan, which was accused of supporting the Ugandan rebels, had for a long time declined to participate in the anti-LRA regional efforts. However, last year in line with a five-track engagement Khartoum allowed US military experts to inspect the areas where Kony was allegedly hiding.
The Sudanese army also last March participated for the first time in the meeting of the African Union-led Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA).
While Kony remains wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Key rebel commanders, Dominic Ongwen, Okot Odyambo have been killed.
The Ugandan army spokesperson said the first batch of its troops has already arrived in the country.
He further said that the UPDF operations have contributed significantly to the restoration of peace and tranquillity in big areas of the Central Africa Republic (CAR).
“The future for stability in CAR now lies on the shoulders of its Government. The UPDF as a Pan-Africanist force remains ready to support the capacity building of the Armed Forces of Central Africa (FACA) for counter-LRA operations and may also join the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) under a strengthened mandate to effectively deal with LRA,” stressed the military spokesperson.