LRA fighters have returned to the Congo and bases in
or near the Garamba National Park. The LRA rebels are apparently growing food. A
little farming makes a lot of sense—the LRA rebels are cut-off from any real
supplies unless they launch forays into Congo, Uganda, or Sudan to steal food.
LRA leader Kony has warned that his men will fight if Congolese troops or UN peacekeepers
come after him in his Congolese hideout. Kony says he is still willing to sign
a peace deal, but will stay in the bush even after that is done. There are only
a few hundred LRA gunmen left, and only a few dozen core members that Kony can
really depend on. Northern Uganda is at peace after years of LRA depredations,
but still shattered and nervous from all the LRA violence. But while the
government has won, LRA has not admitted defeat.
September 8, 2008: For the second years in a row Uganda's Karamojo
region (largely peopled by Karamojong tribes) is suffering a crop failure. The
area has suffered from both drought and floods (too little and too much). The
government now estimates that three-quarters of the populace may face famine
(the region has approximately one million people). For the last six years the
military has been trying to "calm things down" in Karamojo. The tribes are
famous for their love of firearms and cattle rustling. The Karamojong
themselves are herders. A government-sponsored "weapons turn in" program had
some success, but anti-crime operations by the army had more. The famine puts
lives at risks but in Karamojo it may mean a new bout of "cattle wars" is on
September 6, 2008: LRA senior commander Joseph Kony failed to show up to
speak with peace negotiators and sign
the comprehensive peace agreement. His failure to show is no surprise, really.
He has been pulling this stunt for several years.