Uganda: February 16, 2000


The Ugandan government said it intends to send more troops to the DRC. Most of them will go to the Ituri region (northeastern DRC). An army spokesman said the troop increase was necessary due to renewed ethnic fighting in the region between the Hema and Lendu tribes. The Ugandan Army statement also said the deployment would help "curtail inflow of arms from non-state actors like the Mai-Mai and agents of Kinshasa" amd alleged that Kabila's regime had used ethnic conflict "between the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups for purposes of propaganda against Uganda." A western press report said the Hema-Lendu conflict was supposedly kicked off 20 years ago when a wealthy Hema bought land in the Lendu area - and the land turned out to have gold ore. The Lendu have since demanded "taxes" on the land. 


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