The Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF has captured and released a Seleka rebel captain in the Central African Republic. According to Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, the UPDF spokesperson the Seleka rebel captain was captured during a shoot out at the UPDF base last night.
He says the captain, whose identifty he declines to reveal was detained for a few hours for interrogations and released to go and tell his colleagues to stop attacking the UPDF. Ankunda says eleven Seleka rebels were killed in the shoot out adding that, a UPDF soldier succumbed to the gunshot wounds he sustained in the attack. Reuters, an international online news agency reported about the attack on the UPDF base this morning.
Asked whether the attacks by the Seleka rebels indicate a new rebellion against the UPDF in CAR, Ankunda said they have gathered intelligence about the militia and will take them on should they continue attacking their bases. Ankunda says the Seleka rebels are trading bullets for ivory and gold with the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels. He says the rebels and also discouraging the LRA fighters from abandoning war and applying for amnesty.
The bad blood between the UPDF and Seleka rebels is not new. When the Seleka Militia assumed leadership of CAR in January last year, they suspended UPDF operations in the hunt for Joseph Kony saying they do not tolerate foreign armies operating on their soil. The eight-month suspension ended after Michael Djotodia, the Seleka leaders was toppled from power by combined international forces.
Seleka rebels then disintegrated but a few of their militia still operate in remote parts of the vast Central African Republic in North Bangui. Seleka is a local phrase which translates into ‘alliance’. Uganda has 5000 troops in CAR under the African Union Mission, which is tracking down Joseph Kony, the indicated LRA rebel commander. Uganda currently has 5000 troops in CAR under the African Union Mission in the hunt for Joseph Kony, a wanted rebel.