Uganda: Kenya Collapse Washes Across the Border

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January 30, 2008: Another wave of Kenyan refugees have left Kenya and entered Uganda, fleeing ethnic violence in the wake of a recent election. In the past, the refugee traffic has gone the other way. Refugees fleeing LRA violence in northern Uganda have sought temporary safety in Kenya. The big flood was during Idi Amin's reign of terror in the 1970s. Kenya protected thousands of Ugandans, including educators and religious leaders.

January 29, 2008: The Ugandan government agreed to extend its January 31 "deadline" for the IRA to sign a peace treaty. LRA spokesmen have been accusing the Ugandan government of preparing to return to war. The peace negotiations are scheduled to resume later this week.

January 27, 2008: It is believed that LRA rebels in the Congo's Garamba National Park are "reorganizing." This appears to refer to reorganizing the LRA's political cadres. A few days ago it was confirmed that former LRA deputy commander Vincent Otti was dead. Otti had been a major advocate of engaging the Ugandan government in peace talks. There have also been rumors of changes in the LRA's peace negotiations team. Uganda has threatened to attack the LRA's bases in Garamba if the LRA does not agree to a peace deal by January 31.

January 21, 2008: The government denied accusations by Kenyan opposition leaders that it was sending soldiers to Kenya to help support Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki. The rumor had caused great consternation in Kenya – which may have been the reason it was spread.

January 14, 2008: Some 4000-6000 Kenyan refugees have crossed the Uganda-Kenya border. The government has begun providing food supplies for the refugees. The Ugandan Red Cross is running several refugee reception centers to help the Kenyans. At the moment the number of refugees has not overwhelmed Uganda's capacity. However, continuing violence in Kenya could change the situation.

 

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