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Friday, 15 March, 2002, 12:53 GMT
Sudan lets Uganda go after rebels
Ugandan children
Children in northern Uganda face abduction by rebels
Sudan and Uganda have signed an agreement aimed at containing the Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army, which is active along their common border.


We are limiting our activity to looking for Kony in the area in which we think he is

James Wapakhabulo,
Ugandan foreign minister
Uganda's Foreign Minister, James Wapakhabulo, said Sudan had allowed Uganda to carry out limited operations on Sudanese territory in an attempt to catch the LRA leader, Joseph Kony.

The LRA has been fighting Ugandan President Museveni for the past 16 years in northern Uganda, planning to replace the constitution with the Bible's Ten Commandments.

The LRA is notorious for abducting children and turning them into soldiers or, in some cases, concubines.

Manhunt

Mr Wapakhabulo told the BBC that under the accord signed on Wednesday, Ugandan troops would not be carrying out major operations on Sudanese territory.

President Yoweri Museveni
Museveni has been facing rebels for 16 years
"We are limiting our activity to looking for Kony in the area in which we think he is," he said.

The minister added that his government would be content if the LRA leader was driven into the hands of the Sudanese authorities.

Mr Wapakhabulo said the accord stipulated that Ugandan operations across the border must not assist the SPLA rebel movement in southern Sudan.

Rebel support

Uganda has in the past accused Khartoum of supporting the LRA.

Sudan, for its part, has accused Uganda of aiding the SPLA, which since 1983 has been fighting for autonomy for the animist and Christian southern Sudan from the Arabic north.

Following a peace accord signed in Nairobi in 1999, both countries pledged to stop supporting each other's rebels and last year the two restored diplomatic ties after a six-year break.

At least 12,000 Ugandan children have been abducted by LRA rebels since 1986.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in Uganda and nearly 500,000 have fled their homes.

See also:

12 May 01 | Africa
Uganda 'ready' for Sudan ties
06 Jan 00 | Africa
Uganda's fight for its children
07 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Sudan
07 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Uganda
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