Uganda: Rebels Driven Into Southern Sudan


December 21, 2005: Uganda said that it "respects" the International Court of Justice's ruling that it owes the Congo compensation for waging war inside Congolese territory. The court said that the Congo was due approximately ten billion dollars in damages. Ugandan soldiers operated in the Congo for over five years (1998-2003), most of the time in or near Bunia in the northeastern Congo and close to the Ugandan border. The Congo petitioned the court, claiming that Uganda violated the Congo's sovereignty and "plundered" natural resources (specifically gold and diamonds, but also wood). Interestingly enough, Uganda did not immediately reject the call for compensation, thought there is little (if not zero) likelihood Uganda will pay ten billion dollars. For one thing, the Ugandan military denies that it was involved in plundering the Congo. Individual officers and soldiers may have participated but looting was not a Ugandan military policy. A similar situation occurred in the southern Congo, where Congolese factions paid for Zimbabwean soldiers by selling minerals to pay the Zimbabwe government.

December 19, 2005: Ugandan LRA bands operating in the south Sudan have attacked humanitarian aid workers. The LRA continues to maintain base camps in south Sudan. Uganda frequently launches cross-border raids against the camp, with the explicit approval of the Sudanese government.

December 18, 2005: The LRA has agreed to peace talks, using the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to mediate.

December 17, 2005: An agreement has been signed with Uganda that enables Ugandan and Sudanese troops to operate closely together, including joint operations in southern Sudan, against LRA rebels. Ugandan military aircraft will also be able to use Sudanese airports at Yei and Juba.

December 16, 2005: LRA rebels, returning from Uganda, killed ten Sudanese civilians a few kilometers from the border. The LRA is a growing problem in southern Sudan, where they also attack relief operations.

December 15, 2005: Troops are searching for a group of five LRA rebels, after an ambush that left eight civilians dead.




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