The Embassy of the Republic of Uganda wishes to strongly respond and condemn utterances attributed to Mr. Hassan Al-Turabi of the People's Congress Party, which were carried in the United Kingdom Press, and the Al Hayat paper of 01 February 2006. Mr. Turabi tried in vain and shame to defend and clear the horrible blood tinted image of the LRA and their Al-Qaeda allies both of which he nurtured during the 1990's when he was the Chief ideologue of the NIF.
This mission would like therefore to update him with information that either escaped his memory or did not come to his way as a result of what he was involved in between the years 2001 – 2005.
- Since 1986, the LRA has abducted over 20,000 Ugandan children as young as seven year, trained mostly the boys as traumatized fighters and used girl as sex slaves. Some of these girls died in the bush as a result of HIV/AIDS from LRA commanders. The last major abductions were those of 41 students of Lacor Seminary in early 2003 and 100 students of Lwala Girls in Kaberamaido in June 2003.
These abductions and killings which Mr. Turabi is blind of have reduced thanks to the gallant efforts of the Uganda peoples Defence Forces who between 2002 and December 2005 rescued 17,779 former abductees. International agencies such as UNICEF, World Vision, I.O.M and even government of Sudan, are actively involved in handling them in partnership with the Government of Uganda. This is our coalition against evil.
- Please Mr. Turabi, if Kony and LRA were not killers people would not have ran to the 144 UPDF protected Camps now filled with close to 1.5 million civilians in Northern Uganda. They are not there for entertainment attending a party. Their lives were being threatened. If you also care, visit Nyakuren Camp near Juba in South Sudan and get testimonies from the Sudanese victims who have continued to suffer the wrath of these criminals. This has impacted negatively on the repatriation programme for refugees in neighbouring countries. LRA is therefore an enemy to the CPA.
The most well-known signature trademark for your LRA friends is the mutilation of faces, removing lips, ears and noses thus living victims to live the rest of their lives as monuments to LRA terror. There have been cases where human beings have been chopped and their parts cooked. This is cannibalism dear brother. We are surprised that you pretend to be the most ignorant on this matter. It is however never too late to help you understand this.
- Since 1994 when you were partly in charge of affairs, fresh blood was injected in the LRA body on the unfounded premise that a strong and peaceful Uganda would naturally ally with the struggling people of Southern Sudan, the following heinous activities documented and highly publicised were committed by these bandits:
a. In April 1995, 220 people including 43 students and 5 teachers of Atiak Technical School were massacred. Vincent Otti the deputy to Kony now hiding in Garamba National Park, – DRC, commanded the attack.
b. In July 1996, LRA rebels attacked Achol Pi refugee camp in Pader District killing over 100 Sudanese refugees.
c. On 10 October 1996, about 200 LRA terrorists abducted 152 school girls at St Mary's College Aboke in Apac district. Some 30 of them were released while the rest remained in captivity until recently when those who survived were rescued by the UPDF. Some have since been flown from Juba to Gulu to be reunited with their families.
d. In January 1997, LRA killed 410 people in Kitgum's Lamwo County in Uganda.
e. On 12 June 2003, LRA leader Joseph Kony issued an order to kill priests and burn church installations.
f. On 5 February 2004, 50 people were killed at Abia Camp in Lira district.
g. On 21 February 2004, 259 civilians were massacred by the LRA in Barlonyo camp, Ogur Sub County in Lira district.
h. On 23 January 2005, 8 Guatemalan United Nations peacekeepers were killed in Garamba National Park by the LRA in an attack condemned by the United Nations Security Council as an unacceptable outrage.
Therefore, Mr. Turabi, it is outrageous for a person of your caliber to make a futile attempt to try and whitewash the LRA leaders and their activities. It is most paining for a former Speaker of a People's National Legislative Assembly and leader of a political party to make such statements without considering the effects they have on the innocent victims and their dear families. What is however gratifying is that Uganda and the governments in the Sudan supported by the International Community are determined, using all available options, to stop this mayhem and bring to justice those responsible. Thanks to the political dynamics that have isolated you out of government decision making. We are sure that history will judge and condemn you and all those who have either consciously or unconsciously supported terrorism and terrorists. It is however never too late for people in such category who fomented terror against Uganda to stand up, apologise and be counted on the side of peace and humanity. Ugandan peace loving victims and their families are willing to forgive them.
The government of Uganda has weathered all the storms from rebel mixed bag of groups which Mr. Turabi should be aware of such as UNRF II, WNBF, ADF,UNFM and of course LRA. Any person still hanging on them is ideologically backward and do not stand the forward movement of the progressive forces. There is no political or military reason whosever that cause advanced to justify such brutal actions against innocent people of Uganda and Sudan. The struggle continues.
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
06 February 2006