Uganda: September 27, 2002


Ugandan-Sudanese relations took a step backwards on 24 October when the Sudan People's Armed Forces planes dropped three bombs on the Ugandan army detachment at Palotaka (southern Sudan). Three Ugandans were wounded, while the Sudanese claim they simply missed their targets (despite both sides having Liaison Officers). Both sides are supposedly now united against the Lord's Resistance Army, but have a history of supporting rebel groups to fight proxy wars. There are legitimate targets for the Sudanese in the area, about 50 miles southeast of the government stronghold at Juba. Not far from Palotaka, the rebels incinerated a government Mi-17 helicopter gunship and it's two crewmen early on the 25th.

Sudanese rebels accused the government on the 23rd of carpet bombing civilian targets, killing more than 20 over the past week. They said a church, market place, villages and refugee camps had been deliberately targeted by newly purchased Russian MiG-29 bombers. These indicators, along with a government call for citizen mobilization on the 20th to protect Juba, could only point to another round of bloodletting.

Sudanese rebels reported heavy fighting on the 26th, claiming that the government had launched it's latest major military offensive in the area and near some of the country's oil fields. Battles were reported in western Upper Nile and on the bridge of Khor Inglizi, which lies in Equatoria between the government stronghold of Juba and rebel-held Torit (just 85 miles to the East). - Adam Geibel




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