Uganda: The Usual Turmoil, But Now More Oil

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July 18, 2011: National police are warning that the Somali Al Shabaab terrorist organization is planning to attack Uganda again. The police said they are acting on new information that terrorists are trying to enter Uganda to conduct attacks. July 11 marked the first anniversary of the World Cup terror attacks launched by Islamist terrorists in Uganda. Ugandan peacekeepers are deployed in Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping force.

July 6, 2011: The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA, Ugandan rebel and terrorist group) killed 26 people in the Congo during June 2011. Five people were wounded. LRA members launched 53 attacks. It appears many of the raids are launched in order to steal food and steal other supplies form Congolese villagers.

June 30, 2011: Soldiers operating in Katakwi and Amuria districts recovered over 400 head of cattle stolen by Karamojong tribal raiders. Army patrols killed eight Karamojong warriors in various incidents between mid-June and the end of the month. Cattle raids have increased in the region since April.  Karamojong raiders have killed 3-50 people so far in 2011. It's difficult to get news out of some of the remote areas where these raiders operate, leading to the wide range in casualty estimates.

June 21, 2011: The Army has been running demolition exercises in the Karamoja region, blowing up old stockpiles of explosives from the 1970s and 1980s. One stockpile was located at a barracks that was abandoned in 1979 by supporters of former dictator Idi Amin. The explosives are old but still quite dangerous. The stockpiles include rocket propelled grenades and other ammunition.

June 12, 2011: Recent oil discoveries raised estimates of Uganda’s total recoverable reserves to 2.5 billion barrels. This is an increase of some 500-600 million barrels. For an impoverished sub-Saharan country, that represent a windfall of around sixty billion dollars at current prices. Ugandan oil has a low sulfur content. However, some of the oil is thick (waxy is the term) which makes it difficult to move by pipeline. This is why Uganda is considering building local refineries that would eventually produce over 16 million liters (four million gallons) of fuel a day.

May 29, 2011: A recent oil strike in the Lake Albert region will begin yielding around 3,000 barrels (nearly 400,000 liters) a day in June. This will be used for domestic purposes.

May 18, 2011: LRA attacks have forced 300,000 Congolese people to flee their homes since the beginning of this year. Most of the attacks have occurred in the Congo’s northeastern regions. It's estimated that no more than a few hundred LRA fighters are still in the field. However, they launch attacks from Southern Sudan to the Congo to the Central African Republic.

May 11, 2011: Uganda’s main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, has returned. The government tried to bar his re-entry. Army units deployed to the Kenya-Uganda border to block Besigye’s entry. Besigye accuses the government and recently re-elected President Yoweri Museveni of conducting a fraudulent election.

 

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