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Uganda asks Sudan to extend operation areas against rebels

8/30/2005 4:58pm

KAMPALA, Aug. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has asked his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir to allow the military operations against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels north of Juba in southern Sudan.

"Last Friday, I talked to President Bashir. I want to pursue (rebel leader) Kony there," Museveni was quoted by The New Vision newspaper on Tuesday as saying.

"Bashir said the Sudanese army in Juba can operate against Kony there. However, I proposed that we work together with the Sudanese army and the Sudan People's Liberation Army to hunt him," Museveni said.

"If Kony wants to come out, let him come to an assembly area," he further added.

Museveni was speaking at the graduation of 200 army officers, including 112 former rebels from LRA and several other military organizations on Monday.

President Museveni said his army had defeated Kony and destroyed his group, adding that the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) had killed 500 rebels and captured more than 300 gunssince January this year when Kony declined to come out of the bush.

"Now he is remaining with very few people, maybe 100, and has now fled to north of Juba on Nisitu-Torit road. We are not allowed to operate there," said Museveni.

According to the agreement reached between the Ugandan and Sudanese governments in 2002, the UPDF was allowed to pursue the LRA rebels south of Juba. However, the remains of LRA have now fled across the red line to the north of Juba.

LRA rebels have killed over tens of thousands of civilians and displaced over 1.4 million people in their 19-year rebellion in northern Uganda. Enditem

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