Uganda: Cowboys Lose Military Protection


September 20, 2010: Though the Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is all but inactive in Uganda, it continues to plague east and central Africa. Sudan has reported several LRA attacks in the south. LRA raiders still hit villages in the Congo. The southeastern corner of the Central African Republic (CAR) is the major hot spot. A recent report claimed that the LRA had kidnapped 700 people in the last 18 months. Most of the kidnappings occurred in the CAR. The LRA uses the people it kidnaps as laborers, to carry supplies or work at its base camps. If they can indoctrinate some of the kidnapped, all the better, they get a guerrilla fighter. They may also use the kidnapped as hostages or a source of financing, via ransom.

September 17, 2010: The murders of two Ugandan journalists are producing accusations from Ugandan media that the government of President Yoweri Museveni is engaged in a campaign designed to intimidate its political opponents. Police investigations have not ruled out the possibility that the murders had a political angle. In one incident a reporter was beaten to death with metal bars. There have been no arrests so far. The government has yet to investigate the riots in September 2009 in which 40 Bugandan tribal protestors were killed. Some claim the security forces illegally used lethal force (ie, police brutality). Critics of Museveni claim that all of the incidents and accusations are part of a pattern of repression by his government and the goal is to insure his re-election.

September 12, 2010: Call this one no surprise at all: The ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), announced that President Yoweri Museveni will be its candidate for president in the February 2011 national elections.

September 6, 2010: Congolese security forces have passed on evidence that the Somali al Shabaab terrorist organization has links to the Ugandan rebel Allied Democratic Forces. Congolese forces found the evidence while conducting operations in the eastern Congo. The Ugandan report was vague, claiming that the Congolese found documents and supplies traceable to al Shabaab. Uganda has been fighting the ADF or ADF factions for almost two decades.

September 3, 2010: A group of legislators in the Ugandan parliament are seeking more details about Ugandan Army operations in the Central African Republic (CAR). The government admits Ugandan special operations forces are in the CAR chasing the LRA. The parliamentarians claim that the president and executive branch have exceeded their authority by running an extended military operation in a foreign country.

September 2, 2010: The Ugandan Army claimed that it killed 397 LRA rebels between July 2009 and the end of June 2010. Another 123 LRA rebels defected and 63 were captured. The army recovered 364 rifles. 32 Ugandan Army soldiers were killed in counter-LRA operations and 86 wounded.

A Ugandan Army (Ugandan Peoples Defense Force, UPDF) unit operating near the Kenyan border reported it had recovered 150 head of cattle that had been stolen by tribal raiders. The army believes the raiders were from the Pokot tribe. The army unit pursued the raiders into Kenya, with the permission of the Kenyan government. Three men were arrested and the army seized three weapons in the operation. The army continues to conduct anti-raider and rustling patrols in the region but last month the military announced it would no longer detail soldiers to help tribesmen graze their herds. This had been an assignment in the Karamojong tribal region. The military said assigning soldiers to help the tribes slows down military operations.

September 1, 2010: The government said that it would send another 10,000 army troops to Somalia to participate in the African Union AMISOM peacekeeping force there. The government said that the terrorist attacks in July, committed by the Somali Islamic terrorist organization, al Shabaab, has strengthened its commitment to fight terror in Somalia. There is a glitch: the government wants U.S. funds to pay for the troop reinforcement.




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