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Warnings of LRA movement into Darfur

October 18 - 2010 By Radio Dabanga

The Lord’s Resistance Army is operating in Darfur, a member of the National Assembly has said. MP Mohamed Adam said that a group of LRA forces entered the market of Birao town in Central African Republic (CAR), on the border with Sudan. They seized food supplies and headed to the Sudanese border. The lawmaker considered that these movements constitute a security breakdown.

This information was earlier confirmed by the spokesman of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Adrian Edwards, who said the attack took place last Sunday. Edwards said that the LRA also abducted young girls and set shops on fire. The spokesman said that since the beginning of the year LRA caused the deaths of more than 340 people.

The Bishop of Bangassou in CAR, Juan José Aguirre Muños, told a Catholic news service that the largest group of LRA fighters left his diocese to head north. He said the pattern of attacks indicated that they moved toward the border with Chad and Darfur.

According to the think-tank International Crisis Group, Joseph Kony is hiding in Darfur. ICG analyst Ned Dalby told Agence France-Press that Kony and his second-in-command Okot Odhiambo led a group of 200 into south Darfur in August. He said that the pattern of attacks indicates that Kony is in Darfur, and it is accurate to say that he is in the Daffak area, where Darfuri rebels were attacked on 2 September. The Ugandan army, which has pursued LRA from Congo into Central Africa "doesn't have permission from the Sudanese government to follow Kony in Darfur, and that's part of the reason why he is there," Dalby said.

In response to the LRA threat, representatives of four African countries last week met and in Bangui, the capital of CAR. At a high-level meeting on Firday, delegates from Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Kenya agreed to try to get the African Union to classify the Lord’s Resistance Army as terrorists rather than rebels. They also agreed to form a joint military brigade, backed by the African Union, to pursue the LRA.

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