U.S. Embassy Warns Americans Over Uganda Rebels Threat

May 8, 2004 — KAMPALA (Reuters) – The U.S. embassy in Uganda has told its citizens to consider leaving the troubled north of the country after receiving reports they may be targeted by Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, a spokesman said on Saturday.

A war between government troops and the shadowy LRA, which routinely targets civilians, has been waged in remote northern districts of the east African country for almost 18 years.

“This warning is based on recent reports we have received that the LRA could begin targeting U.S. citizens,” said Michael Gonzalez, a spokesman for the U.S. embassy in the capital Kampala. He gave no details of the reports.

The LRA, led by self-proclaimed prophet Joseph Kony, is listed by Washington as a terrorist organization. Most Ugandans say the cult-like group has no clear aims beyond overthrowing the government of President Yoweri Museveni.

The U.S. embassy said it was monitoring the situation and would inform its citizens of further developments. Meanwhile, it said Americans in the north should take immediate steps to guard their personal security.

“Given the gravity of the threat, the embassy urged citizens in the districts of Adjumani, Apac, Gulu, Kitgum, Lira and Pader to consider temporarily leaving the area,” the embassy said in a statement.

Warren and Donna Pett, a U.S. missionary couple from Wisconsin, were killed by gunmen in March during an attack on an evangelical mission college in northwestern Uganda.

At the time, an army spokesman said it was unlikely the LRA was behind the raid in the bandit-prone region bordering the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan.

While the rebels have attacked international aid workers and government troops in the past, Ugandan villagers have borne the brunt of the LRA’s violence.

In the worst recent attack, more than 200 civilians were burned, shot and hacked to death in Lira in February when the rebels attacked a camp for people

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Reuters, USA
May 8, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday May 10, 2004.
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