Lord's Resistance Army leader killed: report

IOL, Africa/November 22, 2007

Kampala - The second in command of Uganda's notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) guerrillas was killed by firing squad on October 2nd "together with many others," on orders of the elusive rebel leader Joseph Kony, a government newspaper reported on Thursday.

The New Vision quoted some guerrilla fighters who recently defected from the LRA as saying that the much-feared Otti - who commanded a rebellion that had left thousands of people dead and maimed and over 1,5 million people displaced in northern Uganda - was killed and his body left unburied for three days "to strengthen Kony's spirit."

The LRA command is currently based in a place called Garamba in a game park in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but its political leadership has since July 2006 been engaged in talks with the Ugandan government to end the brutal rebellion.

Senior commanders of the cult-like guerrilla army defected from the main group in October in a move that signalled a split within the rebel ranks.

A top rebel field commander who handed himself to Congolese authorities was subsequently flown back to Uganda and offered amnesty.

The New Vision quoted some rebel officers who defected as saying that Otti pleaded with Kony not to kill him before he spoke to his son, an undergraduate at a government university in Kampala.

"(Defecting rebels) Otto Sunday, Richard Okema and Odong-kau, who have been calling local leaders in Gulu from their hideout in Congo, said the second-in-command was killed on instructions of LRA leader Joseph Kony at 10.00am on October 2, together with many others," the newspaper reported. - Sapa-dpa

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