Ugandan paper New Vision reports that the Sudanese government has offered renewed support to the Lord’s Resistance Army, including the supply of food and medication and safe passageway into central Sudan. Though unconfirmed, the story compounds speculations over the current LRA-Khartoum relationship raised by credible information Enough received last month that a contingent of the deadly rebel group had taken refuge in South Darfur.
New Vision attributes its source to captured LRA commander Okello ‘Mission,’ who claims that he was a member of an LRA team that met with commanding officers of the Sudanese army in October of last year.
“The subject of the discussion was to resume the partnership with the government of Sudan,” Okello said.
During the civil war in Sudan, Bashir’s government used the LRA as a proxy force in its fight against the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, or SPLA. In 2005, LRA leader Joseph Kony publicly announced that the Khartoum government had supported the LRA as part of its strategy against the South—a charge the regime continues to deny.
Today, the LRA is spread over a wide swathe of eastern Africa, with fighters in northeastern Congo, Central African Republic, and south Sudan continuing to engage in brutal killings and atrocities against civilians. Although unconfirmed, the possibility that the rebel group may be linking arms with Bashir and company again should be investigated by the U.S. and the U.N. and should prompt the international community to develop a firm and well-coordinated response to end the LRA’s presence immediately.
Photo: LRA fighters in Congo.