The Ugandan army says it has detained 11 people over alleged rebel activity in the north of the country.
Uganda army and defence spokesman Maj Felix Kulayigye said the 11 were coordinators of a new rebel group.
He said five had been arrested in Gulu and Pader districts of the Acholi sub-region, which was the epicentre of the conflict pitting government forces against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from the late 1980s well into this century, and that weapons and communications equipment had been unearthed in Pader.
Kulayigye said six others were detained in Rhino camp in Masindi District, western Uganda, with guns and solar panels.
The Gulu resident district commissioner, retired Col Walter Ochora, said those detained include former senior LRA fighters who had surrendered in 2007 and joined the regular army or who had been granted amnesty.
According to Kulayigye, the six held in Masindi would be charged with treason.
“We have taken the files of those we arrested in Gulu and Pader to the director of public prosecution for advice. They are also preferably going to be charged with treason,” he said.
Asked what the name of this new rebel group is, Kulayigye said: “They are still in initial stages. They are still proposing the name of their rebel group,” he said.
“We are aware of some politicians in Gulu and those in the diaspora who are behind these new rebel activities in northern Uganda. They feel discredited by the LRA,” Kulayigye said.
Col Ochora said some of those arrested “wanted to break into a prison in Pader with the help of one of the prison wardens. However, security operatives managed to foil their attempt.”
The LRA has not been active in northern Uganda for several years although in recent months it has committed devastating atrocities in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo in the wake of military strikes against its bases. The relative calm in northern Uganda has led tens of thousands of civilians to leave protected camps set up by the government in the late 1990s and return to their home villages.
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