Uganda: August 31, 1999


: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said Rwanda must keep the Mweya ceasefire agreement of August 17th. He warned Rwanda to that the UPDF (Uganda's military) in the Congo would attack "if provoked" by Rwandans. Fighting between Ugandan and Rwandan forces in the Congo broke out on August 14th at the Bangoka airport. Uganda backs the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) faction headed by Ernest Wamba dia Wamba. Rwanda backs a Goma, Congo-based faction of the RCD headed by Emile Ilunga. Museveni said Uganda believes the Rwandas started the fighting because they intended to assassinate Wamba dia Wamba. Uganda says it lost 38 soldiers in the fighting and estimates the Rwandans lost 100.

August 28; A bomb exploded in a suburb of Kampala. It was the ninth bomb explosion in Kampala this year. The earlier bomb attacks have been linked (by the Ugandan government) to "terrorist groups based in western Uganda."

August 25; A Sudanese transport flew over northern Uganda, was fired on by government anti-aircraft guns, then turned around and flew back to the Sudan. Relations between Sudan and Uganda have been strained for some time. Rawanda and Uganda agreed to exchange a hundred prisoners of war taken during the three day battle between their forces in the Congo between the 14th and 17th of August.As many as 200 Ugandan soldiers died in that battle.

August 24; Army troops fought a group of rebels of the Allied Democratic Fromt (ADF), 450 kilometers west of the capital, Kampala. One soldier and 15 rebels were killed. All of the dead rebels were armed. The ADF rebels had been terrorizing the area for several days, after crossing the Congolese border. The ADF maintains bases in the Congo. The ADF has been active for some two years.

August 20; Uganda has accused it's erstwhile ally Rawanda of attacking Ugandan troops in order to capture Ugandan backed Congolese rebels leader Wamba dia Wamba. 

August 14; The army has orders to shoot on sight any members of the Karamojong tribe seen carrying guns outside their villages. The army is demanding the ringleaders of the raids that killed over a hundred people. The army is reluctant to disarm the Karamojong, because armed tribes in neighboring Kenya and Sudan would then attack the defenseless Karamojong. All the tribes in the region have long standing feuds that have, in the past, led to the extermination of the weaker tribes. The army also noted that 5,000 heavily armed Turkana tribesmen were reported moving into Uganda from Kenya.

August 12; The government has sent 4,000 troops in the northwest where tribal strife has killed over a hundred people in the last two weeks. Most of the fighting is between rival clans of the Karamojong tribe, which considers cattle rustling a traditional activity. But the fights over stolen cattle often turn into massacres, as happened in this case. Over 70 children were slaughtered in raids on villages by clan warriors.

July 29; Government troops seize, at gunpoint, a hundred stolen cattle from Karamojong tribesmen.

July 20; Government troops raided a rebel camp in northern Uganda, killing three rebels, including for Ugandan brigadier general Opon Acak, and captured three. About three dozen other rebels escaped.. General Acak had founded a new rebel movement recently, calling for traditional multi-party democracy in Uganda.

July 13: In an operation typical of the unsettled situation in Uganda, 23 people died as troops, local vigilantes and rustlers died during an attempt to recover stolen livestock. Cattle raiding between tribes is an ancient tradition. But it became much more widespread since the 1970s, when tribal warriors got their hands on AK-47s and other modern small arms.

July 10; Members of the Karamojong tribe ambushed an army patrol, killing fourteen soldiers and wounding twelve.

Rebels in the bush have proved difficult to eliminate, mainly because the rebels have increasingly operated like bandits rather than a political movement. Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is the principal organized rebel force. This group is actually a combination of two separate organizations; Tabliq Islamist sect and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU). The ADF has been fighting the government since November 1996. The ADF maintain bases in the Ruwenzori Mountains, which lay astride the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is this use of the Congo as a hiding place that brought Ugandan troops into the current Congolese civil war.


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