Joint raid sets camp of Ugandan rebel group ablaze
Uganda, Congo, and south Sudan attacked the Lord's Resistance Army camp in northern Congo on Sunday.
Three African nations announced Monday they had launched military operations against the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the remote northeast forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo the previous day.Skip to next paragraph
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The LRA has waged a 20-year rebellion against the Ugandan government and is notorious for kidnapping children and conscripting them. Its leaders are now hiding out in the jungles of the neighboring Congo.
The Ugandan government and the LRA have been in on-and-off peace talks for more than two years, but LRA head Joseph Kony has three times this year failed to show up to sign a deal, frustrating efforts to bring peace.
Agence France-Presse reported that the three governments have lost patience with Mr. Kony. It reported that both the LRA and the Ugandan government say they are still open to negotiations, despite the obvious breakdown of the peace process.
Bloomberg reported that the Ugandan Air Force began bombing LRA positions Sunday. Quoting a Ugandan Army official, it said there weren't yet any details on casualties. It said the stumbling block to a peace deal was International Criminal Court charges against Kony.
The Daily Monitor, a Ugandan daily, reported that peace talks had already collapsed in November, when Joseph Kony "failed to turn up for the third time this year to sign a deal earlier agreed upon by both sides."
The Monitor said the attack was believed to have included infantry and special forces, in addition to the airstrikes.
In a report last week, the International Crisis Group said the peace process was "failing." It warned that the LRA could be used as a pawn in the coming years by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. That Arab government has long been accused of sponsoring the LRA in its fight against the Ugandan government, as a tit-for-tat measure against Uganda's alleged past sponsorship of southern Sudanese Christian rebels who fought Khartoum.
The Associated Press wrote that the LRA's insurgency has destabilized several countries in the region.