Home | News    Monday 26 October 2009

South Sudan army free 46 Darfurians abducted by LRA rebels

By Manyang Mayom

October 25, 2009 (RUMBEK) — The Sudan People‚Äôs Liberation Army (SPLA) forces in Raja County of Western Bahr-El-Ghazal state has managed to free 46 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Darfur abducted by Ugandan rebel Lord Resistant Army (LRA).

Southern Sudanese IPDs who have fled their homes during raids by Lord’s Resistance Army (AFP)

LRA rebels attacked a camp of Darfur IPDs at Kor-El-Madia village, Raja County, in Western Bahr al-Ghazal state which has a long border with the troubled region of Darfur. The Ugandan rebels during their evening attack on October 21 killed three policemen from southern Sudan and two civilians.

"Today, Kor-El-madia is celebrating the return of 45 abductees who were finally reunited again with their families after they had being hostages of the troops of notorious LRA Joseph Konyi," said the spokesperson of the southern Sudan army, Maj General Kuol Diem Kuol.

The number of the abducted IDPs from Kor-El-madia was unknown but yesterday the SPLA forces who were pursuing the LRA rebel, managed to get them as the LRA rebels run away leaving all the abductees people plus looted properties, he stressed.

Kuol said that among the 46 abducted people there was one autochthon from the region. "They forced him to guide them in their movement in the region threatening to kill him if he fails to show them directions," he added.

However, the southern Sudan army spokesperson denied the capture of LRA members saying "No, the SPLA failed to arrest anyone of the Ugandan rebels, they have run away with three rifles confiscated from the three policemen killed during 21 October attack."

He disclosed that more troops were already been dispatched to hunt the LRA rebels, adding the SPLA also will deploy more troops to protect civilians in southern Sudan.

The attack on Raja raises fears about the extension of the LRA activities to other parts of southern Sudan. The rebels increased also their attacks on civilians in the greater Equatoria province, particularly in the Western Equatoria state.

Ugandan, Congolese and Southern Sudan armies carried out an important military operation against the LRAcamps in Garamba forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central Africa last December when Joseph Kony refused to sign a peace deal brokered by southern Sudan.

The reemergence of the LRA in different parts of southern Sudan may force the SPLA to consider an appropriate riposte, said a military source in southern Sudan.