Uganda: The Trail Of Blood

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March 8, 2011: Whither the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), one of the world’s more vicious terrorists organizations – and that is saying something. Since Uganda launched its offensive against LRA bases in the Congo in December 2008, LRA capabilities have declined. The consensus among military analysts is that LRA communications have been damaged. The organization has few resources and gets hammered when it encounters military forces. Therefore it confines its attacks to unarmed or poorly armed civilians. There is also another consensus view, and it is solid fact: LRA senior commander Joseph Kony remains free and thus remains a political factor. The LRA is operating in ten to 12 groups scattered across the Congo, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Southern Sudan. It continues to kill people. Estimates vary, but from 2,500 to 3,000 people have been slain by the LRA since the December 2008 offensive.

The Ugandan Army has small units in the Congo and CAR,  that are there primarily to track LRA activity. In January 2011, the CAR government restricted larger operations by larger Ugandan Army formations in that country. So the information obtained by the Ugandan Army trackers can only be used, if at all, by local security forces.

March 3, 2011: Members of the U.S. Congress are insisting that the American government demand that the government of Sudan (ie, northern Sudan) provide evidence that it is not continuing to support the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The U.S. leaders are insisting that this be a requirement if Sudan is going to be removed from the terrorist-sponsor list. The Sudan government provided supplies to the LRA (starting by some accounts as early as 1994) but began backing off around 2001 and it claimed that it had cut all ties after it signed the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with Southern Sudan.

March 2, 2011: A Ugandan opposition party has decided to contest Yoweri Museveni’s election, as president, in the Ugandan supreme court. The plaintiffs will likely claim that Museveni used public funds for his own political purposes. There may also be claims of fraud.

March 1, 2011: During January and February 2011,  LRA rebels launched approximately 50 attacks in the Congo, with 100 people kidnapped and 17,000 displaced. That’s a lot of action, especially for 400 rebels.

February 21, 2011: It appears President Yoweri Museveni has been re-elected to another term. The results of the February 18 elections are preliminary, but it appears Museveni won between 65 and 70 percent of the vote. One semi-official figure is 68 percent. All of his opponents, however, have rejected the election results Kizza Besigye, Olara Otunnu, Norbert Mao and Samuel Lubega are claiming electoral theft. Besigye, according to the semi-official tally, finished second with 26 percent of the vote.

February 14, 2011: There is evidence that LRA rebels scattered throughout central Africa are expressing a desire to return home. The rebels come from northern Ugandan tribes, and have been in contact with their kin (thanks to cell phones all over Africa).

February 13, 2011:  Interpol is looking for Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) leader Jamil Mukulu. The government regards the ADF as a potential ally of Somali Muslim radicals who oppose Ugandan peacekeeping forces in Somalia. The government believes the ADF intends to launch attacks in western Uganda. An Interpol warrant for an ADF leader is something of a political victory for the Ugandan government. Uganda has five battalions serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is around 4,500 soldiers.

February 8, 2011: Ugandan Army officers in northern Uganda reported that the army has a commando unit with 950 soldiers that are prepared to stop any election violence in the area. The unit is located in Pader District, which is a stronghold of the Acholi tribe. Many Acholi supported the Lord's Resistance Army during the civil war.

 

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