Uganda: April 6, 2005


Two years ago Uganda began a program to "professionalize" its military. The program included a new training regimen, but one key element was firing and prosecuting corrupt officers and NCOs. One of the biggest problems was "ghost soldiers" -- troops carried on the unit payrolls but not present for duty. Corrupt officers would put the non-existent troops' pay into their own pockets. Did the reforms work? Apparently not-- at least not to the satisfaction of Ugandan president  Museveni. On April 4 Museveni announced another program to end graft. One report quoted Museveni as saying "Don't let corruption get into the army. Don't let in the weevils." Colorful language-- but real change means prosecuting officers, and some of them will be quite senior. As for the war with the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), there has been a drop off in the last ten days in LRA attacks and abductions. The Ugandan Army claimed in early March that the LRA had been broken into small "factions." Though the LRA splinters were still attacking refugee camps and murdering civilians, the remaining fanatics were retreating. 29 LRA rebels surrendered to the army in the last week of March. There have been "lulls" in LRA action in the past. 




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