Uganda: March 7, 2003

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: Ugandan security sources claimed that they did not instigate the fighting around Bunia, and that the UPC attacked the only UPDF detachment at Delle (5km from the town) at 5:30 am. At 7.30am, UPC forces also attacked the main UPDF barracks at Bunia airport, making it impossible to send reinforcement to Delle.

Ugandan troops deployed on the outskirts of Bunia counterattacked using tanks, mortars and long-range artillery. The UPC retaliated with anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft guns, firing them horizontally. At around 11.00am, troops and equipment "from a foreign country" (the implication being Rwanda) arrived in Mogwallo and Fataki, to reinforce the UPC. The sources also claimed that more foreign support was expected in the two towns where UPC has built airfields.

After the shooting stopped, UPC fighters fled towards Mogwallo and Fataki (about 50km and 60km away respectively from Bunia). The UPC has accused the Ugandans of supporting the anti-UPC coalition force, the Front for the Integration and Pacification of Ituri (FIPI). The UN observer mission in Congo (MONUC) said UPC and FIPI clashes in Bogoro on February 27 resulted in the death of over 400 civilians. - Adam Geibel

The rebel group, a former ally of Uganda, has several thousand fighters in and 
around Bunia, a strategic trading town near the Ugandan border. 

The Ugandan Army once again accused the LRA of violating its own unilateral ceasefire. On March 5 the LRA attacked a refugee camp at Acet, and kidnapped at least 30 people.

Ugandas president Yoweri Museveni issued several statements where he said it is time for Uganda to move to multi-party democracy. Museveni has maintained for years that multiple parties will become tribal parties. No doubt the successful Kenyan presidential election has influenced Museveni.


 

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