Uganda: Squeeze the Rebels and Kill the President

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February 17, 2006: Rumors continue to circulate that an attempted assassination occurred in northern Uganda on either February 14 or February 15. One rumor has it that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's motorcade was fired on by at least three weapons, one of them a light machine gun.

February 15, 2006: The UN urged Congo's neighbors to cooperate with UN officials who are trying to stop illegal trafficking in the Congo's mineral resources. The statement referred to a "number of countries" that were not fully cooperating with the UN. That is being interpreted to mean Rwanda and Uganda. Allegedly, Uganda continues to aid the illegal export of gold from the Congo.

Pre-election violence continues to increase. At least three people died when unidentified gunmen opened up on an opposition rally in Kampala. Two other people died in a separate incident, also in Kampala, when police tried to disperse an opposition rally of "several thousand supporters of Kizza Besigye. The police used tear gas and live ammunition.

A Ugandan military spokesman said that Ugandan troops ambushed an LRA unit inside Sudan and killed four LRA rebels. The ambush took place in the western part of Sudan's Equatorial province. The Ugandan military thinks the LRA unit was trying to enter the Congo.

February 14, 2006: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the Ugandan military to step up its operations against the LRA in northern Uganda. Museveni's statement comes after the Sudan government issued a statement urging tribal militias and security forces in south Sudan to attack the LRA rebels still inside Sudan. This looks like an attempt by Sudan and Uganda to "squeeze" LRA holdouts. It may also explain why at least one LRA group has moved into the northeastern Congo and the increase in firefights between Ugandan military forces and the LRA along the Sudan-Uganda border. Uganda also reported that one of its units operating inside Sudan killed one LRA rebel and captured two others near Biliniang, Sudan, in an operation that ended on February 11.

The Ugandan military reported that its troops killed one LRA rebel in Uganda's Apac district (northern Uganda).

February 11, 2006: Ugandan troops stopped an LRA attack along the Pabbo-Atiak road in northern Uganda. Two LRA rebels died in the firefight.

January 19, 2006: An exploration well drilled by an Australian company reportedly found "oil shows" in the Hoima district of western Uganda. Sudan has significant oil reserves. Many companies are looking for oil in central Africa (for example, the Central African Republic). Volatile political circumstances (ethnic conflict and war) and the cost of transporting crude have limited exploration and development. The rise in oil prices, however, makes some of the prospects economically viable. Oil is obviously a source of revenue for impoverished countries. However, oil facilities are also targets for rebels and bandits.

 

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