Uganda: Show Me The Money

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October 21, 2010: Uganda, the Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR) have agreed to create a joint military unit assigned to fight the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The key component of the unit will be a joint operations center where military and police forces can share intelligence. The African Union has promised to help establish the organization. Nigeria and South Africa may help provide logistical support. The LRA has been dispersed but not defeated. Remnant LRA groups now attack villages over 800 kilometers (500 miles) from the Ugandan border. The LRA began as an anti-government movement in northern Uganda, organized by radicals in the Acholi tribe. The Ugandan government believed the LRA received support from Sudanese intelligence (1994-2001), to include money and weapons. The LRA may still be receiving support from the Sudan national government, which firmly opposes the potential creation of a separate South Sudan. The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) currently operates as a highly autonomous governing body. The GOSS is certainly worried about continuing LRA attacks and recently issued a statement that it fears the LRA will be used to destabilize the upcoming independence referendum. An LRA band recently raided a town in the CAR, stole food and property, abducted several women, and then burned part of a market.

October 14, 2010: A new slew of rumors as to the whereabouts of LRA senior commander Joseph Kony are circulating in central Africa. The hottest one has Kony and some 200 LRA followers slipping out of the CAR and setting up a base camp in Sudan's chaotic western Darfur region. Ugandan special operations soldiers had been tracking and occasionally attacking the LRA inside the CAR. Uganda has conducted those operations with the permission of the CAR's government. Moving to Darfur makes it tougher for Uganda to keep tabs on Kony. The move into Sudan gives more ammunition to those who suspect Kony still has ties to Sudan's national government

October 12, 2010: The leader of Uganda's main opposition party (Forum for Democratic Change), Kizza Besigye, has demanded that several government prosecutors be forced to resign because they brought a treason case against a legal opposition group. A group of judges cleared Besigye of treason charges. Besigye argued that the indictment was just another move by Yoweri Musveni's government to suppress its opponents. Besigye contended this violated Uganda's constitution.

October 6, 2010: Reversing a threat made a week earlier, the government told the UN that it is willing to increase its peacekeeping contingent in Somalia. Uganda might provide as many as 20,000 soldiers. There is a catch: Uganda does not have the money to fund the operation. Uganda regards Somalia's Islamist Al- Shabaab group as an enemy. Al-Shbaab claimed credit for helping organize the July 2010 terror attacks in Uganda's capital, Kampala. Peacekeeping duty can be a money-maker for the armies of developing countries. The troops are supposed to be paid in hard currency (usually dollars).

October 5, 2010: The government believes its security forces have discovered a recruitment operation run by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group. The network was operating inside Uganda, in the Mayuge and Bugiri districts.. The Congolese Army attacked ADF camps along the Congo-Uganda border earlier this year.

October 1, 2010: The government condemned a draft UN report declaring that the Ugandan Army committed war crimes in the Congo. The report claimed the crimes were committed between 1995 and 2003. The Ugandan government indicated that the accusations could lead it to decide to withdraw its troop contingent from the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia. The Ugandan contingent is the largest component in the AU force.

 

 

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