Uganda: March 15, 2004

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Thousands of Ugandan soldiers rolled into southern Sudan's eastern Equatoria province over the March 13-14 weekend in pursuit of LRA rebels. The move comes after Sudan extended by three months (up to May 31) the protocol under allowing Ugandas to carry out search-and-destroy raids against the rebels.  Unfortunately, the renewed agreement still prohibits the Ugandans from using helicopter gunships inside of Sudan. The string of recent army victories had been attributed to the Mi-24 helicopter gunships' firepower. 

The LRA will have a 'home field' advantage, having mastered the southern Sudan's terrain. This has been given as the reason why the rebels were able to evade the army the last time they crossed the Sudanese border. 

According to a 17 year old prisoner who escaped from rebel captivity in 2003, LRA leader Joseph Kony has become a Muslim and given the name Mohammad. Kony has been indentified as a Christian fundamentalist who based his revolt on the Ten Commandments. Children abducted by the LRA also claim that Kony insists on Islamic conduct in the southern Sudanese camps. Supposedly, some LRA officers are resisting the religious conversion. Whether these teenaged accusers can be believed remains to be seen, since accusations that the homicidal lunatic Kony is now a follower of Islam could simply be an attempt to garner support against the LRA. - Adam Geibel

 

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