Uganda: Cracks In The Foundation


March 9, 2010:  An northern Acholi tribe is encouraging a new round of negotiations between the government and the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). The Acholi group is called the Acholi Religious Peace Initiative (ARPI). The ARPI contends that a formal peace agreement will forward peace and reconciliation in northern Uganda.

March 5, 2010: It is now believed that up to 350,000 barrels of oil a day will be produced from the Lake Albert region by 2018.

March 4, 2010: The World Bank warned the government that it must take the fight on internal corruption seriously. Failure to address Ugandan governmental and institutional corruption could lead to a cut back (potentially a cut off) in developmental aid. The World Bank believes that a “culture of impunity” exists among corrupt Ugandan officials.

March 3, 2010: A police official warned that ethnic tensions between the Bakiga and the Banyoro (in Kibaale District) are once again increasing. The ethnic groups have fought over land ownership and land use rights. There was a clash between the two groups last year that led to the burning of several homes. The Banyoro are also agitating for Banyoro-only political posts (ie, governmental positions that can only be held by an ethnic Banyoro).

March 2, 2010: Opposition leaders criticized President Yoweri Museveni's decision to ake his son commander of the Presidential Guard Brigade. Regime opponents argue the Museveni is grooming his son to succeed him as president. Musevnia has been in power 24 years.

March 1, 2010: Lieutenant-Colonel Keinerugaba Muhoozi, the son of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, has been appointed commander of the Presidential Guard Brigade (PGB). The PGB is an elite Ugandan Army unit of around 10,000 soldiers. The unit is in effect is the president's personal army. Muhoozi is currently commanding the army's Special Forces, which comprises several thousand commando and counter-terror troops. In effect, the Presidential Guard has become part of the Special Forces. Muhoozi has received military training in both Great Britain and the US. The unit is also tasked with protecting Uganda's oil fields, which are located in the Lake Albert region (Lake Albert basin, northwestern Uganda).

February 28, 2010: Political tension between the Baganda tribe (led by hereditary king Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II) and the Museveni government is getting worse. The Baganda are Uganda's largest ethnic group.

February 20, 2010: The Army continues to maintain observation posts in northern Congo. The intelligence outposts in Congo's Orientale province monitor Lords Resistance Army (LRA) activities. There have been Congolese Army operations near the towns of Duru, Ngilima, and Dungu which may have been assisted by Ugandan intelligence and special forces.

February 18, 2010: Another group of Ugandan Army soldiers is preparing for duty in Somalia. The government reported that 1,700 troops in Battle Group Five are in a peacekeeping training course taught by French Foreign Legion instructors.

February 17, 2010: The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) reported that LRA rebels kidnapped 10 people. The kidnappings occurred after an LRA cadre launched an attack on two small villages. Ugandan Army special forces operate in the southeastern CAR, assisting CAR security forces in keeping track of the LRA and occasionally ambushing LRA rebel forces.

February 13, 2010: A group of cattle thieves in the Karamoja region ambushed an aid worker convoy. One policeman, who was escorting the convoy, died in the attack.

February 8, 2010: The Ugandan Army said that new reports of infiltration by the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebel group are not accurate. The ADF has operated in western Uganda (Rwenzori area). Army officials said that a small ADF faction still has a base in the Congo.

February 7, 2010: More Ugandans are openly complaining about governmental corruption. and corruption in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). Complaints about corruption are not new, but as new elections approach the opposition knows it has an issue with national appeal and is urging investigations into corrupt practices and people in road construction contracting and in health care services. There have also been complaints about “ghosts” in the defense ministry --- which likely refers to “ghost soldiers” on the payroll. “Ghost soldiers” either do not exist or they are former soldiers who are no longer in service but their names remain on a unit roster. Why? Corrupt military and police commanders collect the ghosts' pay checks. The Ugandan military began a program several years ago to professionalize the military and weed out corrupt officers. The government's political opponents, however, don't believe the ghosts have been eliminated.





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