Uganda: One War At A Time

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January 13, 2011: The Ugandan Army (Uganda Peoples Defense Forces, UPDF) says that it will maintain a presence in Southern Sudan and the Congo as long as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) remains a threat. The military also said that it has orders to stay in the field until LRA senior commander Joseph Kony is either killed or arrested. A military spokesman also recently acknowledged that Ugandan Army forces still operate in the Central African Republic, another country that is also looking for Kony.

January 10, 2011: The government intends to compensate victims of the LRA rebellion in the northern Teso region. Several northern regional and tribal groups have gone to court seeking reparations for lost property and lost lives. Over the last few years the government has provided direct compensation on a selective basis. The preferred method of reinvigorating the northern economy (where most of the LRA's violence occurred) has been resettlement programs and training programs.

January 5, 2011: With Southern Sudan's independence referendum a few days away (January 9), the subject of Ugandan support for the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) has become a hot topic in the Ugandan media. For several years Uganda provided supplies to the SPLA, which fought Sudan's national government to a stalemate and became the government of the semi-autonomous state of Southern Sudan. It looks like it may well become fully independent. Anyway, the majority of Ugandans still approve of their government's support of the SPLA but they do not look forward to a renewed war between Southern Sudan and the national government (northern Sudan). A new north-south war in Sudan would eventually involve Uganda and Kenya (both favoring the southerners). That may not be so. The national sentiment is that Uganda has enough on its plate already, with its peacekeeping contingent in Somalia being the biggest –and most controversial-- item.

December 24, 2010: Another 1,800 man battalion is being sent to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

December 20, 2010: The government and the UN reported that if violence erupts in Southern Sudan during or after the January 9, 2011 independence referendum, 100,000 southern Sudanese could seek refuge. NGOs have begun laying up supplies in case of the refugee influx.

December 10, 2010: American president Barack Obama has written a letter reaffirming that the U.S. supports Uganda's and other African nations' plans to disarm the LRA. The US plan appears to agree with Ugandan government demands that LRA senior commander Joseph Kony be arrested. The American president said that the US wants to achieve for goals. (1) Protect civilians in central and eastern Africa from LRA attacks. (2) Capture Kony and other LRA commanders. (3) Disarm LRA rebels and/or encourage them to defect. (4) Provide aid to regions afflicted by LRA attacks. AFRICOM has provided some intelligence support and logistical aid to Uganda in its efforts to combat the LRA.

December 1, 2010: A Ugandan court has dropped charges against 18 people who were arrested after the soccer World Cup terrorist bombings which occurred on July 11, 2010. But 17 other suspects will face charges. The Somalia militant Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed it orchestrated the attacks as a reprisal for Ugandan participation in the AU's peacekeeping efforts in Somalia.

 

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