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Rebels Kill 37 in Uganda Attacks

April 17, 1999

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) _ Rebels fighting to oust Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni have killed 37 people in the past week, 14 of them in attacks in the past two days, newspaper reports said today.

The attacks have disrupted the shipment of relief food to between 50,000 and 70,000 Ugandans displaced by months of violence.

The U.N. World Food Program said today it had resumed transporting food to the region early this week after temporarily suspending convoys due to the insecurity.

``We have been forced to arrange military escorts to accompany our food convoys to ensure that transporters can travel safely, and the food reaches those who need it,″ WFP Uganda director Michael Jones said in a statement.

Rebels of the Allied Democratic Front killed at least 14 people in two separate attacks Thursday and Friday in western Uganda after they crossed over from bases in eastern Congo, the independent Monitor newspaper reported. It said the rebels have killed 37 people in the past week.

The ADF operates in the dense forests of the Rwenzori Mountains that straddle the border between Congo and Uganda, and rebels often launch cross-border attacks disrupt Museveni’s government.

The government-owned New Vision newspaper said today the two attacks and a smaller one in the same area had claimed 27 lives since Thursday.

New Vision said nine people were killed late Friday when rebels struck the village of Bubombi on the outskirts of the western frontier town of Bundibugyo, 240 miles west of the capital Kampala.

Ten villagers were also killed on Thursday at Nyakigumba, near the town of Fort Portal, 40 miles east of Bundibugyo, and the last large town on a winding mountain road leading to the troubled border town, the report said.

Officials could not be reached to clarify the death toll.

The New Vision said security and military officials visited the Fort Portal region Friday and promised to deploy more troops to the area.

The World Food Program said it sent 70 tons of food supplies to Bundibugyo earlier this week for 30,000 people displaced by rebel attacks. It said two-thirds of a total of 200 metric tons of maize, beans oil and corn-soya blend targeted for the region had now been delivered.

The agency also warned that indoor shelter for the growing number of displaced residents was becoming scarce.

Update hourly