Uganda: The Kony Conundrum


March 22, 2012:  Joseph Kony and his remnant band of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) loyalists (and terrorists) remain on the run. Still, the Ugandan military and US AFRICOM believe the deployment of 100 US soldiers (most of them special operations personnel) has put increased pressure on Kony and his faction. Others are not so sure, since attacks attributed to the LRA continue to occur in the Congo. Attacks in the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan have decreased this year and since late January there have been no confirmed LRA attacks in either country. The U.S. contingent has split into small groups and these groups have operated in the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda, and the CAR. All of these nations are threatened by the LRA and all of them have forces deployed to combat the LRA. The U.S. soldiers provide intelligence and communications assistance. The U.S. is helping provide fuel, supplies, and some airlift support for the anti-LRA operation.

March 17, 2012: The government claimed that it has new information indicating that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel movement is once again preparing to launch new attacks. The Ugandan Army has identified three ADF base camps inside the Congo. Two of them are located in or near the villages of Mwalika and Bubuchwanga. Uganda indicated that the Congo military also has this information. The Ugandan military has been saying for several months that the ADF has been running a recruiting drive. Apparently that has paid dividends since the ADF has been running training drills in its camps. The ADF is primarily a Ugandan Muslim organization. The government has said for two years that the ADF has connections with the Somali Islamist Al Shabaab organization and the Al Shabaab July 2010 World Cup final terror attacks.

March 15, 2012: The Ugandan military announced that it will build a new military garrison facility in Bukwo, near the Uganda-Kenya border. Soldiers assigned to the post will be tasked with combating cattle raiders who operate on both sides of the border. However, the announcement specifically mentioned stopping attacks by the Pokot tribe, which for the most part lives in Kenya.

March 10. 2012: Government critics are dismissing statements by President Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) that they intend to stop corruption in Uganda. One critic said that the NRM cannot stop corruption unless it gets rid of itself. Currently, two senior ministers have resigned from the government because of an embezzlement scam. The corruption, favoritism, and general mismanagement were a major reason for the creation of the LRA and other rebel organizations.

March 8, 2012: The International Criminal Court (ICC) stated that it remains interested in arresting LRA senior commander Joseph Kony. The ICC wants to see its warrants enforced. Kony is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Kony is also the subject of a YouTube video, titled Kony 2012, which has been viewed over 20 million times.

March 2, 2012: Three senior government officials, including the foreign affairs minister, have denied accusations that they are involved in a major corruption scandal involving $150 million in funds. A former Ugandan vice-president was charged in the scandal in July 2011.

March 1, 2012: The Karamojong tribe has told the government that its disarmament policy has been unfair. The government began a disarmament program among the Karamojong almost a decade ago. The program was supposed to take automatic weapons away from cattle raiders. Now the Karamojong report that while they have turned in their weapons their adversaries have not. Gunmen have stolen their cattle and they do not have guns to protect themselves and their property. They have been trying to defend what cattle they still have using bows and arrows.

February 16, 2012: Ugandan soldiers evicted squatters from a nature preserve in the Amuru district. One person died in the incident. The squatters claimed they had ancestral rights to live in the preserve.




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