Uganda: Sudan Supports Rebels Secretly

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April 22, 2010: How does the Lords Resistance Army manage to survive? Ugandans aren't the only ones who ask this question. A former LRA commander recently told Ugandan media that the LRA still receives supplies of food, medicine, and weapons. He claimed to have met with Sudan Army officers in Darfur in October 2009. Two senior Sudanese officers met with him and other members of an LRA delegation. The subject under discussion: renewed cooperation between Sudan and the LRA. The Sudan government denies the allegations. Officially Sudanese support for the LRA ended in 1999. The Sudanese national government let the Ugandan Army begin anti-LRA operations inside Sudan in 2002 (Operation Iron Fist). However, many Ugandans continued to believe and still believe the Sudan national government (in Khartoum) provides some type of minimal assistance to keep the LRA functioning. In other words, Sudan is hedging its bet. The Government of South Sudan (GOSS), the semi-autonomous state within Sudan, could become independent in 2011, and the LRA would be a tool for the north to disrupt the south. The Ugandan Army claims that the LRA now has around 200 fighters but at any one time has several hundred kidnapped civilians providing support (like carrying equipment).

April 21, 2010: Kizza Besigye, leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (Uganda's main opposition group) asked for international monitors in Uganda's 2011 national elections. Besigye has argued that the Ugandan government (and its National Resistance Movement party) cannot be trusted to run a fair election. Besigye also said that many Ugandans fear post-election violence could occur, similar to what occurred in Kenya in 2007.

April 18, 2010: A government intelligence report stated that LRA commander Joseph Kony is most likely hiding in Sudan's Darfur region. The report said the government believes Kony left the Central African Republic. 

April 14, 2010: Ugandan opposition leaders and media are calling the government's decision to buy six SU-30mk2 Russian jets a huge waste of money. The government claims no deal has been signed, but a Russian website published an article that claimed a deal was in the works.

April 12, 2010: The Ugandan Army reported that in the first week of April it engaged a Jie Karamojong tribal force in a major firefight which left 41 tribesmen dead. Jie Karamojong raiders had stolen several hundred cattle from the Dodoth. The Ugandan Army pursued the raiders and recovered over a thousand stolen cattle.

March 31, 2010: Ugandan police said a man was under arrest for setting fire to Bugandan tribal royal tombs in early March. The police report said the man turned himself in. The suspect claimed he had received a divine vision which told him to set the tombs on fire. The police report said authorities are investigating the man's mental history. Tensions between the Buganda tribe and the national government over tribal rights continues. The tomb fires set off a series of protests.

 

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