Uganda: Soldiers Stir Up Tribal War



Soldiers Stir Up Tribal War

December 8, 2006: Another meeting with LRA leaders is held in southern Sudan.

December 6, 2006: The army is "on the alert" for refugees fleeing from the Congo. The government said that it had reports of a new series of fights between the Congolese Army and a rebel faction led by "dissident" General Laurent Nkunda. NGOs reported a wave of refugees were fleeing toward the Ugandan border. Some 12,000 refugees had already crossed the border into Uganda, to escape the fighting in the Congo.

The government says there would be peace in northern Uganda because of the negotiations between President Yoweri Museveni and LRA leader Joseph Kony .

The army arrested three soldiers who had organized a cattle theft ring in Karamojong tribal territory (Karamoja). The soldiers are accused of using military resources and troops to steal over one hundred cattle. The theft has resulted in attempts by the Karamojong to recover the cattle. A small-scale tribal war has broken out because of the theft. The Karamojong are known to steal cattle themselves. However, the Ugandan military has been trying to stop the "tradition" of cattle raiding as well as "demilitarize" the Karamojong region. Cattle theft with spears is one thing, but cattle theft and raiding with assault rifles has raised the cost in human life. The government may use the trial to make a public example of the three soldiers.

December 1, 2006: The LRA's Joseph Kony warned that his rebels would go back to the bush and "go back to war" if the peace process fails. Kony was speaking from a camp inside Congo (probably in the Garamba National Park area). Kony was referring to the entire Ugandan peace process but he made his statement after the LRA negotiating team in Juba, Sudan left the peace talks. The LRA quit the peace talks on November 29 after accusing the Ugandan Army of attacking an LRA column in south Sudan.

November 29, 2006: The LRA accused the Ugandan Army of ambushing an LRA guerrilla force in south Sudan . The alleged attack took place near Owiny Ki-bul (one of the south Sudan assembly areas). The LRA alleged that three people were killed in the firefight. The LRA said the guerrillas were heading for the assembly area, as part of the ceasefire agreement.


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