Wednesday, March 4, 2009




Uganda's army announced the capture of a commander of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army, the first top insurgent to be arrested in a three-month-old regional military drive against the militia.

Thomas Kwoyelo, believed to be the LRA's fourth-in-command, was seized in the Democratic Republic of Congo's northeastern Garamba National Park on Tuesday, army spokesman Major Felix Kulayigye said.

"We had contact with the rebels yesterday. Thomas was injured and is now in our custody. We also have some of the fighters who were with him, while others ran away," Kulayigye told AFP.

Uganda, DR Congo and south Sudan armies launched a joint military operation against the rebels in December after elusive LRA chief Joseph Kony refused to sign a final peace deal with the Kampala government.

Kony is yet to be arrested and his fighters have killed hundreds of civilians while fleeing the onslaught.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila are to meet Wednesday to review the operation and decide whether Ugandan troops will remain in DR Congo.

Kabila had said Ugandan troops were to leave DR Congo by the end of February, but they have yet to withdraw.

Kony's rebels are accused of having raped and mutilated civilians, forcibly enlisting child soldiers and of massacring thousands during two decades of conflict.