Uganda: Awaiting The American Army

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October 28, 2011: The U.S. government deployment of a special task force to Uganda is simply fulfilling a past commitment to help Uganda defeat the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army). The deployment is part of the support promised in the 2010 LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. The LRA has displaced some 385,000 people in central Africa and launched over 250 attacks in 2011. U.S. support for Uganda has four objectives: protect civilians (a demand that UN peacekeepers have failed to meet in the Congo); arrest senior LRA commanders (especially Joseph Kony); encourage LRA members to defect, then demobilize them and retrain them for civilian life; provide relief aid to communities that have suffered from LRA attacks.

October 26, 2011: The U.S. Congress has been told that the deployment of a hundred troops to Uganda would be short term, likely a few months in duration. The U.S. force is not on a combat mission but is armed for self-defense.

October 19, 2011: Police arrested Uganda’s main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, and placed him under house arrest. Opposition groups are protesting Uganda’s deteriorating economic situation. Beisgye also continues to assert that President Yoweri Museveni stole the last election.

October 17, 2011: The Ugandan military claimed that its forces operating in the Central African Republic (CAR) almost captured LRA senior commander Joseph Kony last month. A squad of Ugandan soldiers (likely a special operations team) spotted Kony in the village of Ndjema. The Ugandan troops and Kony’s bodyguards fired on one another and Kony escaped.

October 14, 2011: The U.S. government announced that US AFRICOM (Africa Command) will send a military task force of  a hundred soldiers to Uganda to assist in the Ugandan military’s operations against the LRA. Most of the U.S. task force will consist of special operations personnel. The troops will provide training guidance, provide logistical advice, and will probably provide intelligence assistance as well. Teams like this can access U.S. technical intelligence data (from satellites, aircraft, UAVs, etc.).

September 30, 2011: Members of President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement are calling for presidential term limits. The members of parliament want the president limited to one six-year term. Museveni has been president for 25 years.

September 21, 2011: Opposition groups have been blasting the government for spending several hundred million dollars on Russian jet aircraft. Now members of the ruling National Resistance Movement are complaining as well. There is growing concern that corrupt officials will waste Uganda’s new oil wealth. The jet fighter purchase is an easy political target. The Ugandan military has yet to identify the threat to Ugandan air space that requires high performance fighters to defeat.

September 15, 2011: Uganda peace activists are accusing the government and the government of South Sudan of intentionally bungling the 2005 peace talks with the LRA. The peace activists point to Wikileaks cables which indicate the talks were uncoordinated. To some that suggests a conspiracy theory that the government wanted the talks to fail because it ultimately wants Joseph Kony killed or captured.

 

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