The top United Nations envoy in the Democratic Republic of Congo has welcomed the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from the Congo.
Ugandan soldiers went to the DR Congo three months in an offensive intended to flush out the Lord's Resistance Army. Operation Lightning Thunder was manned by Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudan forces with the support of the UN Mission to the Congo (MONUC).
Alan Doss, the head of MONUC, said that although the withdrawal of Ugandan troops was welcomed, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) remains a threat. He said a lot must be done to protect the civilian population against rebel attacks.
Since last September the LRA, notorious for abducting children as soldiers and sex slaves, have killed some 900 Congolese and displaced another 150,000.
John Holmes the UN humanitarian coordinator said that while UN agencies and their partners are working to expand humanitarian aid and step up efforts to protect the local population, they are facing several constraints.
These include the huge 40,000 square kilometer area where the LRA is hiding, their dispersal into several groups, the difficult terrain and isolated location, chronic lack of infrastructure, and the threat still posed by the rebels, including on major roads.
In a statement issued over the weekend MONUC said it will continue to support further efforts to clear out the pockets of LRA that remained.