Uganda: Bandits Replace Rebels

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October 8, 2006: Only about ten percent of northern Uganda is considered "dangerous." That means convoys need at least one truckload of armed guards when traveling through these areas. The danger is now coming from bandits and cattle thieves (a traditional practice between tribes), rather than the LRA. However, some groups of LRA are moving away from the assembly points (where the gunmen are supposed to receive their amnesty and rehabilitation goodies.)
October 6, 2006: The Uganda-LRA ceasefire agreement (officially called the Cessation of Hostilities agreement) continues to hold. That said, the rhetorical fire between the LRA and the Ugandan government has increased. Both sides have accused the other of violating the ceasefire agreement and both sides fear being double-crossed. One source reported the Ugandan Army (Ugandan Peoples Defense Force) had increased its activities in south Sudan. The EU has been asked to provide increased humanitarian aid for northern Uganda and encourage both the LRA and the Ugandan government to work toward a comprehensive peace agreement. LRA negotiators now claim that the LRA has 10,000 fighters under arms. Ugandan and Sudanese sources say the LRA has between 1,000 and 2,000 fighters.
October 4, 2006: The Cessation of Hostilities Monitoring Team ( the group charged with monitoring the ceasefire agreement) said that Sudanese near the Owiny-Kibul assembly area (safe zone) in south Sudan reported that on at least one occasion LRA rebels entered the assembly area then left. On September 16, approximately 45 LRA rebels entered the assembly area. The rebels accepted food available in the area, then left
October 2, 2006: The Ugandan government said that it believes the LRA received new supplies of weapons during summer 2006. It is also possible that LRA rebels who have not entered the south Sudan cantonment areas are receiving new weapons and equipment. Ugandan critics of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement claim that the LRA will use the negotiating period to re-arm, The Ugandan government said that some of the LRA rebels who have entered the south Sudan "safe zones" have been arriving with new weapons, specifically new AK-47 assault rifles. A few of the rebels were wearing brand new military fatigues. There are also indications that the LRA has received new communications equipment. Who is supplying the new equipment? Ugandan intelligence says it does not know, but some of the new AK-47s have Arabic inscriptions on them.
September 30, 2006: LRA negotiators, who suspended peace talks earlier this week after accusing the Ugandan government of undermining the ceasefire, returned to the bargaining table. The LRA had accused the Ugandan military of "surrounding" and :besieging" the Owiny-Kibul assembly area (safe zone cantonment area) in Sudan. Ceasefire monitoring teams had agreed to investigate the allegations.

 

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