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|| DARFUR ARCHIVES|
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|November 23, 2009|
Some estimate that there are only about 250 rebels left. Most have died or defected.
According to one escapee "Since December 14, Kony no longer communicates on phone. He now sends one of his security men on foot to convey messages. They would move 10 to 20km away from him and then communicate on phone.”
The atrocities committed by the LRA have been widely documented by human rights groups and are among the worst the Congolese suffered at the hands of Joseph Kony. On Christmas day, his fighters killed at least 143 people in Faradje and abducted 160 children. According to survivors, the LRA crushed their victims’ skulls with axes and bats. They also set fire to 940 houses, three schools and nine churches. They killed another 86 people in the first week of January in the towns of Sambia, Akua and Tomate, to the south of Faradje. The massacres were in retaliation for the participation of the Congolese army in 'Operation Lightning Thunder,' attempt to apprehend the LRA.
Asked where they got their weapons, ammunition and new uniforms from, the defector rebel, Arop said they received supplies from SAF, (the Sudanese Army) many of which were still buried in river banks and hills in Southern Sudan. In Congo, he said, they seized weapons from the UN soldiers they ambushed and killed.
As for food, before Operation Lightning Thunder they relied on the supplies given by Caritas during the peace talks. “Every month we received 200 bags of beans, 200 bags of rice, 200 bags of posho, 100 jerry-cans of cooking oil, 100 boxes of wheat flour, 100 sachets of salt and 100 boxes of soap.”
Arop said Kony keeps surviving because he never takes part in battles. “Whenever attacked, he runs away and leaves his fighters to fight back. I have never seen him fight.”