Uganda: Commandos and Cattle Rustlers

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April 8, 2007: Families of Ugandan peacekeepers killed in Somalia will receive a death benefit of approximately $50,000 from the African Union. This is an enormous sum for the average Ugandan. The AU is paying for the peacekeeping operation. Uganda has around 1600 troops in Somalia, and is, at the moment, the only AU force in Somalia. Malawi and Ghana have agreed to send troops. Burundi has promised 1700. Nigeria has promised 850 soldiers.

April 4, 2007: The National Mine Action Program is now in full operation in northern Uganda. From February 9 to April 2, the de-mining teams in northern Uganda had removed over 200 land mines and unexploded ordnance. The unexploded ordnance includes RPG rockets and hand grenades.

April 3, 2007: Mozambique and South Africa have joined Kenya as new sponsors of the Uganda-LRA peace talks. The government of South Sudan had been encouraging other African countries to use their diplomatic influence to keep the peace process going. The three governments will likely send mediation teams to Juba, Sudan, when peace talks reconvene on April 13.

April 2, 2007: At least 18 people died in a "tribal clash" in northeast Uganda. The violence was sparked by a cattle raid, which is all too common in the area. Apparently Jie tribesmen attacked Bokora tribesman. The Jie claimed the Bokora had stolen over 400 head of cattle. The gunbattle lasted six hours, and only ended when a Ugandan Army helicopter gunship arrived in the area.

An army commando unit ambushed a group of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in western Uganda. The ADF force was trying to infiltrate from the Congo. Four ADF rebels died in the firefight. The Ugandan troops had been pursuing ADF rebels since mid-March and have killed 61 ADF rebels during that period. The army had been blocking infiltration routes along the Semliki River. This "quiet offensive" has been very successful, although it is very tough to confirm the numbers. However, in March, Uganda sent the Congolese government and UN representatives of MONUC (UN peacekeepers in the Congo) a number of messages about ADF infiltration. MONUC had promised to take action against the guerrilla groups.

March 27, 2007: LRA guerrillas have left south Sudan and returned to bases in the Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo), apparently inside Garamba National Park.

 

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