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Friday, 7 January, 2000, 16:39 GMT
Ugandan rebel leader 'kills deputy'

The leader of Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is said to have had his former deputy executed, a Ugandan newspaper reports.

The New Vision said an LRA member - who had escaped five days earlier from the movement's base in southern Sudan - described how rebel leader Joseph Kony had executed his long-time deputy, Alex Otti-Lagony, after a long-running disagreement and leadership wrangle.

"Kony thought Lagony was creating dissent within the rebel ranks and was plotting to assassinate him," former bodyguard Bosco Oringa was quoted as saying.


Children The LRA is notorious for child kidnappings
Lagony was shot days after he was sacked and demoted "for disagreeing with Kony", Mr Oringa said, adding that he had been replaced by "Brigadier" John Okello Matata as Kony's second-in-command.

The paper said that Mr Oringa's report was corroborated by another LRA escapee whom it named as Richard Omona, 14.

The LRA has kidnapped many young Ugandans and forced them to serve in the rebel movement.

Brutal reputation

Alex Otti-Lagony joined the LRA in 1988 and earned a reputation as a brutal commander, especially after the group changed its tactics to target civilians following the failure of peace talks in 1994, the New Vision reported.

The paper said Mr Lagony had led an attack in April 1995 in which rebels overran the village of Atiak and killed more than 270 unarmed civilians.

He had served as a division commander, director of LRA intelligence, and most recently as chief of operations and training.

He had been confined mostly to base after he lost a leg in battle in 1997, the paper said.

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See also:
06 Jan 00 |  Africa
Uganda's fight for its children
06 Jan 00 |  Africa
Attacks breach Uganda peace deal
08 Dec 99 |  Africa
Sudan and Uganda tackle rebels
07 Dec 99 |  Africa
Uganda offers amnesty to rebels
07 Mar 99 |  Monitoring
Ugandans under attack
21 Feb 99 |  Analysis
Sudan: Background

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