Top Ugandan rebel commander killed as peace deal remains unsigned
(dpa) - One of three top Ugandan rebel leaders indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes has been slain by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader who is himself on the ICC wanted list, local media reported Monday.
The independent Daily Monitor reported that Okot Odhiambo was killed along with eight others during a recent internal revolt within the LRA leadership in the north-east of the Congo where leader Joseph Kony fled in late 2004 from his original bases in south Sudan.
The death of Odhiambo, one of the remaining key LRA commanders, further complicates the nearly two years-long rocky peace negotiations between the government and the LRA, which last week failed to sign a peace deal.
Odhiambo has been one of the key commanders of the LRA which has been waging a brutal 20-year rebellion that has displaced close to two million civilians in the northern region.
The Daily Monitor quoted the deputy leader of the government peace team Henry Okello Oryem as saying, "I have just got information that Kony has killed Odhiambo and now I am rushing for a meeting with President (Yoweri) Museveni to give him the details."
The ICC issued warrants of arrest against five top LRA commanders in October 2005 on charges of killings, rape, abducting and drafting children into war.
None of the rebels has been arrested and three remain at large including Kony, Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen while the two others have since been killed.
The signing of the final peace treaty has been undermined by the LRA's insistence that the ICC first drop the indictments before it signs the agreement.