Home | News    Wednesday 21 September 2011

EU political advisor pledges support to W. Equatoria’s fight against LRA

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September 20, 2011 (KAMPALA) - The political adviser of European Union’s Special Representative to great Lakes Region, Philippe Maughan has met the governor of Western Equatoria to discuss EU plans to support civilian protection from Ugandan rebels the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

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European Union of the European Special Representative to great Lakes Region, Consiluim Philippe Maughan. (ST)

At a brief meeting with the governor, Philippe said the “EU and other international partners are concerned about the LRA atrocities in South Sudan". Western Equatoria in particular has been terrorised for the past 5 years after the group were forced out of northern Uganda.

He stated that the EU is working hard to provide support for the civil protection, detection programs, support to displaced camps and resource centers where abducted children are cared for in the state.

The state governor Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro said security remains the “priority for the state". South Sudan became independent in July as part of a 2005 peace with North Sudan. Throughout the conflict South Sudan accused Khartoum of supporting the LRA and allegation denied by the ruling National Congress Party.

Bakosoro disclosed that LRA atrocities have affected the state’s economic activities, especially agriculturally, as farmers have been displaced from their farms.

“This has caused food insecurity in [...] Western Equatoria [which used to be] referred to as the bread basket of South Sudan during the 21 years of struggle against Khartoum regime,” said the governor.

He said development funds that should be spent on providing basic services are instead used to feed South Sudan’s army and local home guards formerly called Arrow Boys to protect the local population. The home guard’s were vigil antis set up to counter the LRA insurgency. Earlier this year they were recognised by the government now receive state support.

“What the home guards are doing is only self-defense, because the state is abundant like it has no government that is why we defend to survive” stressed the governor.

The former South Sudan’s lawmakers approved about 5 million Sudanese pounds ($1.87 million) to aid the Arrow Boys but the money has not been released to the state up to present.

The movements of the rebels in the past few months have reduced after a sustained attempt to monitor and trace the LRA’s whereabouts near the border of DR Congo, the governor said.

Governor Bakosoro urged the EU and African Union to provide the state with FM radio boosters that can reach the DR Congo as most captured LRA rebels say they listen to the radio.

“If the local FM radio can reach Congo, messages can be sent to the LRA to surrender as it was successful in northern Uganda” he said.

Most of the LRA are thought to have been kidnapped as children and forced to fight in the rebel army. Leaving is punishable by death but in Northern Uganda radio programmes promising an amnesty have proved an effective way to encourage soldiers to defect.

The LRA’s stated aim is to govern Uganda by the Bible’s 10 commandments. The group have committed terrible human rights abuses against the communities they attack and the children they capture.

(ST)

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  • 21 September 2011 07:31, by Isaac Khamis

    I sometimes feel sad when the South Sudan Government deals with senistives issues such protection of civilians, disarement, development and Corruption. All these mentioned issues are sung as song by preseident Kiir since he took over after the death of our Greater Leader John Garang but fail to do anythings unless talking, but talking without actions do not sound.

    Kiir know that people of Western Equatoria have acquire guns than others communities in South because they do not keep cattles like others so they are entitles for protections and do don,t see why money should be allocated while we have our Army, what are their duties.

    repondre message

  • 21 September 2011 07:52, by Kon Ajith Deng

    I think,there is no different between SPLA and LRA,they are killing innocence civilians in the South Sudan,or may by there is no LRA,but some hungers of SPLA doing that attrocities in the W Equatoria,like what is going on now in Upper Nile State and Jonglei State,SPLA from other tribes are killing civilians from other tribes,SPLA forces really is not friendly with the citezens,if we want security,let the states protect themselves,by returning their childern from other states to their states,for instance Nuer SPLA to Nuer areas,Equatorians SPLA to Equatoria,shilluk SPLA to silluk areas,

    repondre message

    • 21 September 2011 13:47, by Isaac Khamis

      Idiot Kon Ajith Deng, We are not Somalian, if you think it is right call off your Nuer Community in the SPLA to protected and rest will remaind as they did after your community break away several times.

      repondre message

  • 22 September 2011 03:05, by Father of earth and heaven

    Soon, but not later i will declare war on LRA and those SPLA who against civilians of south Sudan. Forget about Kiir with his tribal gov.

    repondre message

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