Uganda: Trading Food For Guns


December 8, 2007: An outbreak of Ebola virus, that began in September has, continued to spread. At least 30 people have died from the disease. Another one hundred to three hundred people are described as "at risk" of contracting the disease. Four medical workers have died from it. Disease is a huge problem in developing countries, but Central Africa is one of the world's "disease incubators." Medical skills are scarce in most developing countries. The loss of medical personnel to an epidemic not only has immediate effects (ie, fewer doctors and nurses to treat victims), but the loss degrades long-term development efforts.

December 7, 2007: Despite demands by domestic political opposition leaders, Uganda continues to "hold steady" its peacekeeping force in Somalia. Currently 1,600 Ugandan soldiers are serving in Somalia.

November 30, 2007: An LRA defector is insisting that LRA deputy commander Vincent Otti was "executed" in October 2007. The order to kill Otti was given by the LRA's senior leader, Joseph Kony. According to the defector, Otti's execution took place on October 2. A Ugandan spokesman said that if the report proves to be true it will not change Ugandan policy. Uganda intends to "continue the peace process" with the LRA.

Seven LRA fighters surrendered to UN troops in Congo's in Ituri province. The UN will repatriate the LRA fighters to Uganda. The LRA fighters surrendered under terms of the amnesty promised by the Ugandan government.

October 27, 2007: Apparently, the LRA is selling food aid bought with funds provided by Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden. The aid is delivered to LRA assembly areas in South Sudan. Peace negotiators are concerned that if the reported diversion of food aid is true that the LRA could use the money to buy weapons.




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