Uganda: November 21, 2002


: And a change of mind. After political threats from Uganda, including a not-too-veiled threat to sever diplomatic relations, the Sudanese government (Khartoum) has extended indefinitely (we repeat, indefinitely) the protocol allowing Ugandan troops to engage the Lord's Resistance Army in south Sudan. For Sudan this is a swift about face. There's still a chance factions in Sudan are supporting the LRA. However, denying Uganda the opportunity to attack LRA bases in Sudan would once again raise Sudan's profile in the War on Terror --ie, raise it with the United States. Somebody in Sudan is aware of that. Also, the Sudanese government knows Uganda can cause havoc by supporting anti-Khartoum rebels. Finally, one wonders how Sudan would have stopped the Ugandan Army from crossing the border. Bombing Ugandan forces with AN-12 transports would result in downed AN-12s, and possibly a regional war. It's possible, in that scenario, the Ugandans would request and receive "allied air cover." That could come from Kenya, it could come from the US. That is not a scenario Sudan wants to explore. Uganda has the operational advantage in the area, anyway --short supply lines, more and better troops, etc. So it looks like Operation Iron Fist will continue to include cross-border operations. Here's the Sudan government quote, courtesy of AFP: "The protocol will remain as long as it is needed to finish the job of flushing out (LRA leader Joseph) Kony..." (Austin Bay)


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