17 Oct 2010

Four nations to form joint force to fight rebels

8:35 am on 17 October 2010

Four African nations are to form a joint military force to fight rebels known as Lord's Resistance Army.

The African Union says the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Uganda will form a brigade to pursue them.

The LRA, which originated in Uganda 20 years ago, has recently mounted deadly attacks in all four countries and is blamed for 240 attacks this year.

The UN says it now targets towns some 1,000km away from Uganda.

The latest attack was in the northern town of Birao in the Central African Republic last Sunday.

The AU said in a statement that the plan to fight the LRA was agreed at a meeting in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, on Friday.

Ministers from the four countries also said they would also set up a joint operations centre, to facilitate the exchange of information and intelligence.

The BBC reports the plan also envisages joint border patrols.