Uganda: December 28, 2003


Ugandan Members of Parliament from northern Uganda continue casting all sorts of derision on the Army's claim that the LRA has been defeated, pointing out that if only 500 rebels are causing all the trouble then Uganda's Army is surely in deep trouble. Army Commander Major General Kazini vowed to resign if he had not killed Lord Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony by 31 December. On the 28th, the leader of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony, telephoned a radio station to say he is ready to enter peace talks with the Ugandan government. President Museveni had set certain preconditions for talks, including that a ceasefire be agreed; that the LRA undertake to stop kidnapping and killing civilians; and that the entire LRA force confine itself to only three sites in southern Sudan where the group has bases. However, anyone really thinks peace is about to break out should note that the LRA ambushed a car and a fuel tanker in separate incidents that same day. There was no word on the exact civilian casualty account. 

The Army went to their highest level of combat readiness in mid-December. The "Standby Class One" message to all units country-wide ordered all soldiers not to leave their barracks, be in uniform all the time and arms should be within easy access. Several tank units from Gulu and more artillery units from Nakasongolo Air Base were transferred to Mbarara. An army spokesman claimed that the alert was simply a normal preparation for the Christmas season. - Adam Geibel




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