/ languages

Choisir langue

Exclusive - Uganda/Southern Sudan

Southern Sudan stops Uganda-LRA mediation after attacks

Article published on the 2008-06-06 Latest update 2008-06-07 08:09 TU

Joseph Kony, Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (Photo : AFP)

Joseph Kony, Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army
(Photo : AFP)

Southern Sudan's government told RFI Friday it is suspendng its role in mediating a peace process between the Uganda government and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels after the Ugandan insurgents attacked soldiers of Southern Sudan Thursday. The attacks threaten peace talks between the Uganda government and rebels of the LRA which has been going on in Juba for the past two years.

RFI has learned that the LRA attacked SPLA troops at Nabanga Thursday, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing 22 people.

On Wednesday, regional army chiefs announced that the LRA would face joint attacks by the armies of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, the UN Mission Monuc and the Southern Sudan Army, unless the rebels sign a peace accord already agreed.

Speaking exclusively to RFI after the attack, the LRA claimed that its forces acted in self-defence, after being attacked by a joint force of Southern Sudanese and Ugandan troops.

Justin Okello, spokesman for LRA leader Joseph Kony, spoke exclusively to RFI from his base in the DR Congo after the attacks.

"What has come on their mind? [At] the same time they are mediators who have mediated these talks between the Lord's Resistance Army movement and the Ugandan government. Why do they make a rash decision to come and attack us in our locations?" said Okello.

 Southern Sudan Information Minister Gabriel Changson Cheng, gave RFI his reaction to the attacks after a Southern Sudanese government meeting.

"We were briefed by the president on the incident and we strongly condemned it as a government, and as people of Southern Sudan because we thought that we were trying to help the government of Uganda, the LRA and the people of Uganda to reconcile and bring about peace," he said.