2008: The parliament is getting serious
about battling government corruption, which is endemic in this part of the
world. Two government ministers are under investigation for arranging a land
purchase, by the government, of overpriced land owned by one of the ministers.
Several million dollars was, in effect, stolen in this deal. The question is,
can even parliament make the accusations stick in court. Those accused of
stealing from the government have lots of other corrupt officials, including
prosecutors and judges, available to help, for a price.
2008: The government has reached a deal with the World Bank that will provide
almost three million dollars for "demobilizing and resettling" former LRA and
ADF guerrillas. The money will help finance the demobilization project that
currently involves around 24,000 people (former guerrillas, family members, and
some individuals identified as "collaborators"). The project is designed to
help reintegrate former rebels into society. This is also a project Uganda can
pursue with or without a final peace agreement. As it is, most Ugandans appear
to believe any deal reached with the LRA will be broken – most likely by the
LRA. A private poll conducted this summer concluded that around 70 percent of
Ugandans think the LRA would violate a peace deal. 29 percent think the
government would break the deal.
2008: An LRA spokesman accused South Sudan of attacking LRA positions near the
Congo border. The LRA spokesman said that elements of the Sudan Peoples
Liberation Army (SPLA – which is South Sudan's military) launched the attack,
2008: And LRQ senior commander Joseph Kony is once again saying he will
consider signing a comprehensive peace agreement with Uganda. For the last two
weeks mediators in South Sudan have reported that Kony had a new negotiating
team. However, the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrants remain a big
problem for the LRA. An LRA spokesman said that the ICC warrants remain a
2008: The army plans on establishing a new "Special Forces" organization. The
Ugandan Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) will use elements of the Presidential
Guard brigade and the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force as building blocks.
Ultimately the Ugandan special forces will have airborne, airmobile, and what
one source described as "marine" components. Uganda has no seaport but it has
many lakes and rivers. Several of
Uganda's most promising oil fields are on or near Lake Albert (Congo border
area). In fact, one of the main missions of the new Ugandan special operations
units will be protecting "strategic assets" (like oil wells and presumably
2008: The African Union reported a Ugandan soldier serving with the AU
peacekeeping force in Somalia was killed by a "roadside bomb." The soldier was
traveling in a six-vehicle convoy outside of Mogadishu's international airport.
The Ugandan peacekeeping force is headquartered at the airport. The AU report
indicated the bomb was an IED-type (improvised explosive device) as was hidden
"in a pile of garbage." Yes, sounds a bit like Iraq. The AU force has around
2600 soldiers. Uganda has 1600 soldiers in Somalia.