US Funded Failed Attack on Ugandan Rebels

LRA escaped 'poorly planned' attack, massacred civilians
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2009 11:27 AM CST
A displaced Ugandan woman sits in a refugee camp near Gulu in this 2005 file photo. Millions of Ugandans have been displaced, as the government clears the way for military operations against the LRA.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The US military helped fund and plan a disastrous attack on a Ugandan rebel group that resulted in reprisals against civilians, the New York Times reports. Uganda had hoped to rout the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army from the Congolese national park it was hiding in, but it failed to seal any escape routes or protect nearby villages. The fighters scattered and began massacring those villages, killing as many as 900 civilians.

“The operation was poorly planned and executed,” said a human rights worker. Civilian reprisals are “the LRA’s standard operating procedure,” and the government knows it. The US sent a team of 17 advisers to help plan the attack, but a military official disowned the final product. “We provided insights,” he said, “but their choices were their choices.” A Ugandan military spokesman wouldn’t discuss America’s involvement, saying only, “There was no way to prevent these massacres.”