Panic Grips Teso After Warning Letter Allegedly Sent by LRA

4240 Views Amuria, Uganda

In short
Parts of Teso are in a state of alarm after a letter allegedly sent by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels threatening to strike the region this month. The letter is reported to have been dropped to Obalanga trading centre in Obalanga sub-region Amuria district, the place LRA first attacked on 15th June 2003.

Parts of Teso are in a state of alarm after a letter allegedly sent by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels threatening to strike the region this month.
 
The letter is reported to have been dropped to Obalanga trading centre in Obalanga sub-region Amuria district, the place LRA first attacked on 15th June 2003.
 
The incursion by the LRA into Teso sub-region in 2003 paralyzed  the region as thousands of people were forced into Internall Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
 
However, the indigenous people rose up against the LRA and picked up arms to fight the rebels leading to the death of many top LRA commanders including Kony’s deputy Brigadier Charles Tabuley and Opio.
 
 The hand written letter in Ateso vernacular language dated 20th February 2014, states that there are already eight LRA rebels in the area and that the rest will follow soon in order to effect the attack slated for 26th March 2014.
 
The letter is signed by with one name Joseph. Joseph describes himself as born in Acowa sub-county in Amuria district from where he alleges that he was abducted and grafted into LRA ranks.
 
The letter further alleges that they are following up Okello, from Orungo sub-county, who escaped with a sub machine gun from the LRA rebels.
 
The second letter which was also delivered on the March 08 did not disclose the date of attack but says any day from March the rebels will enter Teso region through Obalanga sub-county in Amuria district.
 
The second letter also states that Dirigir who claims to be a son of the soil and was abducted in 2003 is determined to seek revenge against the Iteso for killing the two top rebel commanders Tabuley and Opio.
 
Capt. Michael Ayaka, the overall intelligence coordinator Teso sub region, told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that there is no single LRA rebel in Uganda.
 
Ayaka claims that, the context of the first letter is nonsense and added that, the second letter is almost the same.
 
He noted that, the LRA rebels are in central Africa and wonders how the letter was sent to Amuria.
Capt. Ayaka appealed to the people of Teso to be calm saying that, the UPDF are on the ground.
 
//Cue in: “The letter is purport...
Cue out: ... attack them...”// 
 
Capt. Jimmy Denis Omara, UPDF third division spokesperson, says LRA leader Kony cannot jump from Central Africa to Uganda.
 
Omara asked the people of Teso not to be diverted by the letters and should engage themselves in productive activities.
 
He pointed out that, they are investigating find out who are behind the letter.
 
John Omuut, the deputy RDC Amuria, dismissed the letters as concoctions by thugs. He says they received similar letters in 2013 and wasted resources trying to track the writers down.
 
He called upon the people to be firm and urged them not to run a way.

 

About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.