circulating that Congolese security personnel have been "harassing" Ugandans
who are sailing on Lake Albert, the Ugandan government has advised Ugandan
citizens to stay away from Rukwanzi Island. This advisory comes as Ugandan and
Congolese military officials are trying to conduct a joint investigation of the
August 3 shooting on Lake Albert, and calm tensions in the region. Those
tensions have spawned some interesting speculation and rumors. The Congo
government is supposedly concerned that Congolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre
Bemba may use Uganda as a base for launching attacks into the Congo. That
sounds far-fetched, but it is the kind of rumor that the Ugandan government
could use to its advantage in negotiations over the Lake Albert incident.
Officially, Congo has apologized for the Lake Albert incidents. But the
Congolese government doesn't have complete control over troops and officials in
the Lake Albert area.
August 11, 2007: Soldiers from
the Congo had occupied a disputed island (Rukwanzi Island) in Lake Albert. The
problem began on August 3 when a British geologist was killed in an attack near
the island. The Congo said that its soldiers were responding to shots fired
from Uganda. On August 9 the Congo admitted its soldiers were involved in the
shootout. Rukwanzi Island is used as an anchorage by Congolese fisherman, but
Uganda claims the island based on colonial maps. Uganda has discovered oil near
August 10, 2007: The
government announced that it would fund a new "consultative process" in
northern Uganda in order to facilitate the peace negotiations with the Lords
August 9, 2007: The army said
that one of its units exchanged gunfire with a group of Pokot cattle herders
near the Kenyan border. One tribesman was killed. The troops
captured 15 more herders and claimed they had been involved in a series
of cross-border attacks and cattle raids.
August 5, 2007: Congolese
military officers returned four captured Ugandan soldiers. The Ugandans were
captured on July 29 when Congolese soldiers claimed the Ugandans illegally
crossed the border.