Uganda: Off to Somalia


February9, 2007: The African Union has provided funds for the Ugandan peacekeeping force in Somalia. The AU contributed $11.6 million (US). Uganda will send 1,400 troops, including some armored vehicles. Uganda has said that the troops could be in Somalia up to nine months.

February 8, 2007: Sudan's Eastern Equatoria state ordered LRA rebels to leave the region. The LRA was accused of launching attacks and committing crimes in Sudan. These LRA were not participating in the peace talks sponsored by the Sudanese government. Two months ago the LRA was accused of participating in several ambushes in south Sudan of Sudanese civilians. There were also reports of robberies and vehicle thefts. Forcing the LRA to leave southern Sudan is potentially a major setback for the Uganda-LRA peace process. That noted, the Ugandan government has been saying it will continue to negotiate with the LRA and is even willing to consider dropping criminal charges against senior LRA members. The Ugandan government, however, favors continuing the talks in Juba. On February 4, Uganda said that it would take "South Africa and Kenya three months" to "understand the issues of Uganda." The LRA said in January that it would no longer conduct negotiations in southern Sudan. Kenya and South Africa have been suggested as other venues for negotiations, but the LRA commanders also fear that international criminal warrants could be served on them in Kenya and South Africa. Kenya has indicated that it would not host peace talks. The Kenyan government wants the talks in Juba to continue. Uganda has good relations with south Sudan (which is increasingly creating its own regional policy—one slightly different from the Sudan government). Uganda has been negotiating a "bilateral cooperation agreement" with the government of south Sudan. This is basically a trade agreement proposed by South Sudan.

February 5, 2007: The Ugandan government said that it was deploying 1000 policemen in the police Anti-Stock Theft Unit to the eastern portion of Pader district. The area has been plagued by cattle rustlers.




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