Uganda: The Diplomacy of Fear


December 25, 2007: The government is trying to get Congo to cooperate in dealing with the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), if the Uganda-LRA peace process completely stalled. Talking in public about this "what if" serves a political purpose, ie, to prod Kony into returning to peace negotiations. Kony remains at an LRA base inside the Congo. He has objected to a January 31, 2008 deadline the Congolese government has given the LRA to leave its territory. The LRA says the Congolese government is acting on behalf of the Ugandan government to violate the cessation of hostilities agreement.

December 22, 2007: New rumors continue to appear regarding the disappearance and apparent death of LRA deputy commander Vincent Otti. The latest is that Otti arrived at an LRA base in the Congo sometime in October. He was arrested then executed by the personal guards of LRA commander Joseph Kony. The charge against him was "spying."

Uganda said that its Ugandan security personnel had arrested 20 Rwandans who are suspected of belonging to a Rwandan Hutu militia force operating in the eastern Congo. The men were found at a refugee camp inside Uganda. Earlier this year Uganda reached an agreement with the Congo to help police rebel and militia activity in the Uganda-Rwanda-Congo border area.

December 17, 2007: An Ugandan religious leader belonging to the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) said that an LRA negotiating team in Kampala had promised to release abducted women and children as a "sign of the LRA's commitment to peace." No one has an accurate number of how many abductees the LRA still holds, though the figure is thought to be several hundred.

December 15, 2007: Uganda and Congo agreed to reestablish full diplomatic relations in 2008. Congo and Uganda have diplomatic contacts on a daily basis, but formal, full relations were broken during the Congo civil war because Uganda was supporting insurgent groups, primarily in the Congo's Ituri province. The Congo also accuses Uganda of "plundering" Congolese natural resources.


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