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Ugandan Rebels Accused of Atrocity - 2002-04-29

Uganda is accusing the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army of forcing members of a funeral procession in southern Sudan to engage in cannibalism.

Army spokesman Major Shaban Bantariza says the rebels forced mourners at gunpoint to cook the corpse in sorghum and eat it. He says the sixty mourners thought their lives would be spared but they were instead gunned down. He says Sudanese fleeing the village where the incident occurred have verified the atrocity.

The Ugandan army, under an agreement with the Sudanese government, is pursuing the LRD in the mountains of southern Sudan. Major Bantariza says he believes LRD leader Joseph Kony is with the rebels in Sudan.

The Lord’s Resistance Army has been fighting the Ugandan government of President Yoweri Musevini since 1987. The group has been accused of abducting thousands of children and forcing them to serve as fighters and slaves. In the past, Uganda and Sudan have accused each other of supporting rebels attacking each other’s governments. They reached an agreement in 1999, which was recently renewed, requiring each side to stop support dissidents. Major Bantariza spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.