Ugandan military urges int'l pressure over rebels huntdown

2013-08-21 08:43:01 GMT2013-08-21 16:43:01(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

KAMPALA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Uganda called for increased international pressure on the Central African Republic (CAR) on Tuesday to hunt down the remnants of a notorious Ugandan rebel group.

Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, Ugandan's military spokesman, told reporters that Uganda has halted operations against the rebel group, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), since April due to a lack of formal understanding from CAR authorities.

"The Seleka authorities (of the CAR) did not cooperate with us," Ankunda said.

The Seleka, a former rebel coalition in CAR, seized power in March, forcing President Francois Bozize to flee.

The Ugandan army, under the auspices of the African Union, drove the LRA combatants out of the country in 2006. But the rebel fighters fled into the neighboring CAR and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and continued to launch unusually large and brazen attacks in areas beyond the reach of Ugandan troops.

The LRA leader, Joseph Kony, is wanted by the International Criminal Court to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"We are becoming impatient with the hunt for Kony, it is taking rather long before the international community acts," Ankunda said.

Ankunda said a lull of military offensive has given the LRA a chance to regroup and carry out heinous activities like killings and abductions of children and women in CAR.

"They are back at their game, killing and abducting children." he said, while urging talks between the United Nations, the AU and CAR authorities to continue the crackdown on the LRA.

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