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Ugandan troops allowed to fight rebels based in southern Sudan

5/17/2005 10:36pm

KAMPALA, May 17, 2005 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese government has renewed the protocol allowing Ugandan troops to fight rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) who have their bases in southern Sudan.

The renewal follows a meeting between Ugandan Minister of Defense Amama Mbabazi and the Sudanese President Omar Bashir in Khartoum on Sunday, local media reported on Tuesday.

On various occasions, the Sudanese government has been extending the protocol to allow the UPDF to hunt the LRA rebels fighting the Ugandan government.

Since the protocol was signed in 2001, the UPDF has registered tremendous results.

Senior commanders of the LRA have been killed and others have surrendered to the government troops Major bases of the LRA in southern Sudan were destroyed and also the Sudanese government stopped arming the LRA.

The Uganda army spokesman, Major Shaban Bantariza was quoted on Tuesday as saying that the number of the LRA in Sudan has greatly reduced "Today the LRA in Sudan has been between 150 and 200 fighters.

When we went to Sudan, these fellows were in thousands,"Bantariza

was quoted as saying. The LRA rebels have for the last 19 years been fighting the Ugandan government, killing tens of thousands of people and displacing over 1.4 million people from their homes.

This rebellion has been characterized as one of the most gruesome rebellion the African continent has face in many decades.

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