> Uganda: U.S. Commandos Venture Into Kony's
8 December 2011
Dozens of US Special Forces have established a frontline base in Obo,
southeastern Central African Republic (CAR), to help regional armies in a
final push to remove LRA leader Joseph Kony and his commanders from the
Revelations about the deployment at the frontier enclave with Democratic
Republic of Congo and South Sudan, emerged as a senior Ugandan military
officer said Kony is hiding in CAR. The undulating terrain, said UPDF
spokesman Felix Kulayigye, made worse by dense forests, shortage of tracking
devices and transport infrastructure have slowed efforts to capture the
rebel commander, wanted by the International Criminal Court.
Col. Kulayigye told journalists yesterday on the sidelines of joint US-UPDF
quick-packaging-for-airdrop drills at Entebbe Military Airbase, that Kony
"keeps oscillating" between border areas of the three countries.
"People we capture (freed captives) tell us in which group he is; and we
corroborate the information using our field intelligence," the spokesman
The airdrop packaging skill, hitherto scarce among Ugandan soldiers, and one
now being imparted by US troops, is expected to help UPDF execute mid-air
conveyance of food, arms and other logistics to foot soldiers on LRA trail
in the vast jungles.
This, the military said, will increase operational efficiency and reduce
time previously wasted when battlefield troops had to trek long distances to
designated assembly points to replenish stock.
The ongoing training of UPDF by their American counterparts on logistics
management and air raid techniques, marked by simultaneous amplified flight
drills in Entebbe and northern Uganda, will have a multiplier effect and
enhance the capability for the anti-LRA offensive, Col. Kulayigye said.
President Obama, under pressure from domestic campaigners and lobbyists, and
in line with the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda
Recovery Act 2009, in October this year, ordered deployment of about 100 US
Special Forces to capture or kill Kony and his commanders.
It is understood Washington got frustrated that the Ugandan military was not
using intelligence data passed to it effectively, partly due to inaccurate
interpretation and in some cases delays in relaying the information to field
commanders. Yet UPDF is the most capable army to hunt the rebels.
A US official said the Special Forces, who are available following end of
the Iraq war and troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan, have deployed to help
fix the problem and ensure regional armies end the LRA menace.
Staff of the US embassy in Kampala took both local and foreign journalists
to Entebbe Airbase to see firsthand UPDF's newly-acquired skills on
packaging for airdrop otherwise called Container Delivery Systems.
Both Ugandan and American officials declined to give a timeline within which
they expect to remove Kony, who, according to UPDF accounts, has on several
occasions since 1987, eluded capture and or death, by a whisker.
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Received on Wed Dec 07 2011 - 18:57:07 EST