Museveni out to kill rebel leaders, blames donors

15th November 2003

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni pledged yesterday to kill leaders of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and accused donors of hampering his war effort by imposing limits on defence spending.

"We are now working hard to kill (LRA leader Joseph) Kony and (his deputy Vincent) Otti," Museveni said in a letter published in newspapers both in Kampala and Nairobi.

"It is not enough to scatter the bandits. They must be annihilated for our people to live in peace. The wages of sin is death," said the president.

Museveni also had harsh words for Uganda's foreign donors, saying limits they imposed on defence spending had compromised government efforts to put down the LRA, which took up arms in 1988 and is renowned for its brutality and practice of kidnapping children to turn them into fighters.

"The donors' stance that defence expenditures must be kept below two per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is not being logical," the presidential statement said.

This condition went "against all logic" and "undermines our security," he said.

Uganda's GDP is estimated at around six billion dollars.

Museveni pointed out that although Uganda had managed to convince donors to raise the ceiling and had been able to procure new war equipment, "they had arrived late and some even arrived without vital equipment, including munitions". – Sapa-AFP.