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“Panda Gari” security operations criticised

The LRA, notorious for abductions of children, is now protesting “abductions” by the government during the Gulu security sweep. A recent commentary by Charles Onyango-Obbo, editor of the independent ‘Monitor’, said that 1,500 people were held in a “Panda Gari” operation in Kampala on 20 November, while about 4,000 ethnic Acholi people were rounded up in a similar operation at the Gulu stadium. In a strongly-worded commentary, Onyango-Obbo wrote: “Panda Gari is either what governments resort to when they lose hope that they can bring about a change of heart among specific populations, or when the apathy or hostility of a community are so high that its intelligence networks are rendered ineffective.” A 1996 US State Department report described similar “Panda Gari” operations in Gulu as “unconstitutional”.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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