Uganda: July 20, 2003

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The Ugandan Army will permanently station 3,000 soldiers in Obalanga, to check the infiltration of the LRA into the Teso region. Obalanga has been the point of entry for the rebels, who first hit Teso on June 15 and there have been an estimated 80,000 people displaced in Teso since that date. 

Two more battalions would be stationed at Kapelebyong, Katakwi district and Ogwete in Lira district. However, that same night the LRA abducted over 100 people from Moroto county, Lira district. 

The strength of the "Arrow Group" would also be increased. This voluntary unit musters former Uganda People's Army rebels from Teso and demobilized soldiers who have offered to fight the rebels. 

One of the factors frustrating the efforts to defeat the LRA are the 'ghost soldiers' on many units payrolls, to the point that President Museveni has ordered an inquiry. Unscrupulous officers have been signing for an estimated 4,000 deserters and collecting their pay and ration allotments, which of course go right into those officers' pockets. There were also graft problems with worthless military hardware, rotten food rations, undersize uniforms and outright embezzlement by paymasters. - Adam Geibel


 

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