Uganda: Tribal Tensions Complicate Peace Deals

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June 8, 2006: Acholi tribal leaders believe international arrest warrants for LRA leaders, issued on June 1, will make peace harder to achieve. While the LRA are largely regarded as scoundrels, many Acholi are suspicious of the Ugandan government. The Acholi are in the north, Kampala, the capital, is in the south. Other tribes in Uganda say that the LRA is an Acholi movement. Certainly many Acholi have fought with the LRA, but many have also suffered from LRA depredations.

June 6, 2006: Ugandan troops ambushed five LRA guerrillas as the LRA rebels were attempting to leave Uganda and enter Sudan. The ambush took place in Uganda's Pader district.

June 2, 2006: Police and security forces arrested ten suspected members of the rebel Allied Democratic Force (ADF) in western Uganda. Ugandan security forces had been pursuing the ADF "unit" for several days. The ADF is linked to rogue militias operating the eastern Congo.

June 1, 2006: Interpol issued five arrest warrants for LRA chief Joseph Kony and his number two, Vincent Otti. The Interpol warrants are "Red Notices." While technically non-binding warrants, the notices amount to an alert that those n amed in the warrants are subject to extradition ---in this case, extradition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes. The ICC indicted the LRA leaders in 2005. The ICC does not have a police force.

May 30, 2006: The Ugandan government once again claimed that LRA leader Joseph Kony is hiding inside Congo (DRC, Democratic Republic of Congo). Uganda also said that it believes some Congolese military forces are allowing the LRA to hide inside Congo.

May 26, 2006: For the first time in years LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony appeared in the news. Kony actually appeared on a DVD, which shows Kony meeting with RIek Macar, the vice-president of South Sudan (the SPLA dominated region in southern Sudan). Machar is supposedly seen giving Kony a check for $20,000. The date of the alleged meeting is not made clear, though a subsequent western wire report said it was recorded in early May. Machar reportedly gave Kony the money to encourage him to reach a peace agreement. Another interpretation is that Machar is paying the LRA protection money --ie, paying off Kony so that the LRA will not launch attacks in south Sudan. In the DVD Kony reportedly says he is "fighting for peace."

May 23, 2006: A Ugandan security guard fired on civilians living in a displaced persons camp in Uganda's Lira district (northern Uganda). The guard (described as member of a local defense militia) killed ten people and wounded 30 more. Apparently the man had been drinking and got in a fight over a woman. He was armed with an automatic rifle. The Ugandan government has armed a number of local and tribal militias in northern Uganda. The militias' job is too provide "first line" protection against LRA rebels. The LRA often raids the camps to take hostages and steal supplies. These militias are usually poorly trained and lack discipline. This kind of rampage is what happens with poorly trained, unsupervised troops.

May 22, 2006: The Ugandan government said that if a "peace initiative" from LRA leader Joseph Kony ended the insurgency, Ugandan would guarantee Kony's "safety." Kony is currently under indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said that Kony had until August 1 to end the LRA rebellion.

May 18, 2006: Ugandan sources reported that Sudan had passed on a "peace offer" from LRA leader Joseph Kony. The offer was supposedly made sometime before May 12. Specifically, Sudan's vice-president Salva Kiir (who is also head of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army, SPLA) informed Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni of the offer when he visited Kampala on May 12

 

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