Uganda: Dry Season Peace Offers


December 14, 2005: Uganda's Electoral Commission ruled that Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye (who is currently in jail) can run as a presidential candidate in Uganda's 2006 general elections. Besigye was arrested November 14. Besigye's arrest has exacerbated political and tribal frictions, which in the past had led to warfare in Uganda. The decision to allow Besigye to run as a candidate may assuage some of the anger.

December 11, 2005:The Ugandan Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF, the Ugandan army) claimed that is troops killed four LRA rebels in a firefight at Lipon-Kitgum near the Sudan-Uganda border. The LRA band may have been the group involved in several car and truck ambushes in south Sudan. The statement said that the UPDF's 5th Division was participating in a "dry season offensive" against the LRA. The dry season is the best time for larger-scale military operations.

December 10, 2005: Sudanese government sources said that Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony is interested in a peace deal with Uganda. These reports have circulated before, however, this time Sudan identified Sudan;s First Vice-President Salva Kiir as the go-between. A Ugandan news website indicated that the Ugandan government found the "peace deal" to be suspicious. In December 2004 Kony floated another peace offer. One government minister noted that both peace offers came "in the dry season." The dry season is the government's prime season for military operations. It's easier for light armor to operate off roads (less mud) and aerial observation is improved. In fact, many of Uganda's main roads in the north are unpaved. During the rainy season they also turn to mud.




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