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LRA survivors tell of brutal attacks

Four victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army have spoken about the horrific rebel attacks on their villages.

The men, from the Central African Republic are being treated in nearby Uganda as the central African country gears up for a presidential election on Friday.

Led by self-proclaimed mystic Joseph Kony, the LRA is active in northern Uganda as well as parts of Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. It is known for its brutality, slicing off people’s lips and kidnapping children for use as soldiers, porters and sex slaves.

Thiery Bakunsu, 23, was shot in the right leg when he was ambushed by a group of LRA rebels. The father of three said his mother was raped by the rebels and later beaten to death. In a second attack, he was shot in the shoulder, but nine people were killed including a one year-old child.

The mother cried and shouted for help after she was shot in the arm,” he told Uganda’s Daily Monitor yesterday (Sunday). “They pulled her, put the child on her chest and stabbed both of them,” he said.

His fellow survivors Abdulla Mohammed and Mbayi Sulaiman were shot in the legs. Mr Mbayi said he was attacked in March last year when the rebels attacked the town where he ran a shop. “I was in my shop when a boy whom I suspect was part of the rebels asked for biscuits but refused to pay,” he told the newspaper. “When I ran after him, I found a group of rebels and they shot me in the thigh,” he said.
Another survivor, Joseph Kanjimo, said the rebels battered him with clubs and shattered bones in his shoulder.

They tell their stories as Uganda prepares to go to the polls for a presidential election. President Yoweri Museveni is running for a fourth term against arch-rival Kizza Besigye whom he has defeated at the last two polls. Museveni is expected to win a closely contested vote but Besigye has said that if the opposition loses it will be because of election-rigging. Besigye has also warned of Egyptian-inspired protests if the poll is unfair and plans to release his own tally of results. Meanwhile Museveni has threatened to arrest him if he does.

The LRA is currently classed as a terrorist organization by the United States.

Hayley attribution