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Analysts Fear Ugandan Rebel Chaos Spreading :: Uganda Radionetwork

Analysts Fear Ugandan Rebel Chaos Spreading

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Renewed brutal attacks and forced recruitment by Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have raised fears that the rebels could destabilize the great lakes region.

Analysts say the LRA forces could also threaten areas of the Central African Republic

The LRA have Since September, launched a series of raids in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and southern Sudan.

A UN report this month accused the northern Ugandan fighters of serious human rights abuses in attacks in northeastern DRC that killed more than 200 people.

The report states that the LRA rebels conducted a campaign of killing, systematic abduction of children and burning of almost all houses.

Fleeing refugees said the rebels have returned to their trademark pattern of surprise attacks and abductions, after mostly minor raids during the last three years of peace talks.

John Denangwa, a Congolese farmer who fled to Sudan, was quoted by AFP saying that the LRA rebels were killing, burning the huts, destroying the food, and they took the children with them from the school into the bush.

Local officials say at least 100 children were snatched from southern Sudan and another 100 from DRC, with thousands displaced. The attacks follow earlier raids along the eastern jungles of the CAR, local authorities say.

LRA rebel Chief Joseph Kony began his battle 20 years ago, claiming to fight against the marginalization of the people of northern Uganda.

But the LRA's ferocious attacks, in which rebels chopped off the limbs and lips of their victims, often seemed more aimed at civilians than the military.

In the 1990s, the rebels began moving into neighboring south Sudan, reportedly backed by Khartoum as a proxy force against southern rebels.

Since 2005, when Sudan signed a peace deal to end its long-running north-south civil war, the rebels slowly shifted to remote jungles in DRC.

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