Uganda: October 18, 2003

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The government announced that the Arrow Group militia will be deployed to guard settlements in the Teso region, while the army continues to chase rebels at the front. They will be deployed to guard schools, IDP camps, health centers and along roads.

The Arrow Group can be as much of a liability as an asset. The Ugandan Army took over leadership positions of the 1,000 man group on the 14th (the same day that 22 civilians were slaughtered after they mistook a rebel group for Arrow members and didn't run into the jungle). Also that same day, authorities found the bodies of 17 rebels near a village in northeastern Uganda that an Arrow Group unit had killed. The village had been attacked on the 10th and at least 16 civilians were killed by the rebels.

The Arrow Group are volunteers, but the government announced their plans to begin paying the militia in Teso a token monthly salary. Nominal rolls had been created with the names of the militia against the number of the rifles issued, to avoid paying non-existing fighters. The government had also secured combat uniforms, footwear and drugs for them.

President Museveni also asked Britain for signals intelligence they have gathered on the Lord's Resistance Army, such as telephone calls and satellite images revealing the location or movement of rebel groups. - Adam Geibel

 

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