Uganda: Unsafe Roads


November 27, 2005: The latest political crisis in Uganda could fuel a broader civil war. It has certainly led to charges that Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni is "in decline" and on the verge of copying Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe. Museveni had his main political rival, Kizza Besigye, arrested on charges of treason. Besigye was arrested by the Ugandan military in early November. Besigye's arrest led to two days of rioting. On November 24 the Ugandan government charged Beisgye with terrorism instead of treason. Presidential elections in Uganda are scheduled for early 2006.

November 24, 2005: Between November 19 and November 24, either bandits or the LRA conducted three ambushes of civilian vehicles in northern Uganda. 20 peopled were killed. One of these occurred in Pader district, where 12 people were killed. The Ugandan government later said the Pader attack was conducted by the LRA. There has been an increase in ambushes directed at humanitarian assistance convoys. The dirt roads in northern Uganda are fairly easy for government motorized forces to patrol. However, they are also ideal "mine territory." Rebels can quickly emplace several small mines after the military or police patrol passes. These are harassment attacks, and discourage the police and military patrols. The attack in Pader district, however, appears to be a set ambush using light weapons.




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