Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ugandan LRA terrorist group wants to destabilise peace in southern Sudan

Friday's attack by the Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army on a civilian truck at Teretenye village near Ikotos in southern Sudan may be an indication that the rebels want to destabilise the peace in southern Sudan.

Full report 20 Dec 2005 (SRS/ST)

Uganda's LRA rebels want to destabilize peace in S Sudan

Photo: Joseph Kony, leader of LRA.

The U.S. government views the LRA as a terrorist organisation.

Is Uganda's Museveni following in Mugabe's footsteps?

BBC report 30 November 2005 says Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has for years been hailed by western donors as part of the "new breed" of African leaders but many now say his halo has slipped. Excerpt:

They are particularly alarmed by the arrest this month of Kizza Besigye, seen as the man likely to pose the strongest challenge to Mr Museveni in elections due early next year.

Is Uganda's Museveni following in Mugabe's footsteps?

Some analysts say the involvement of the military in Dr Besigye's case is a sign of the growing influence of the army in various aspects of Ugandan life.

The authorities accuse Dr Besigye of contacting rebel groups in order to topple Mr Museveni and they say they have the evidence to back up the charges.

Dr Besigye jailed in Uganda

Photo (AP/BBC) Dr Besigye (in blue cap) who returned from four years in exile last month was charged with treason - and rape - in the High Court but a judge has agreed to grant him bail.

However, he has also been charged in a military court with terrorism and unlawful possession of weapons and he remains in custody.

Ugandan government arrests main opposition leade Besigye

Dr Besigye's arrest led to two days of riots in Kampala - see BBC In pictures: Kampala riots. Anti-riot police and soldiers fired tear gas and bullets against protesters in the central streets of Kampala. Riot police battled opposition supporters for two days, after the arrest of their leader Kizza Besigye.

A suspected looter was shot dead in this street. There are growing concerns over the political climate in Uganda. Human Rights Watch has urged a fair trial for Dr Besigye.

Many Ugandans are unhappy at the military's involvement in the Besigye case.

UK cuts Uganda aid in poll fears

Today, BBC reports European governments have expressed concern about the prospects for a fair election in Uganda following the arrest on treason charges of the main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye.

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye under arrest in Uganda

Photo (AP/BBC): Opposition leader Kizza Besigye in Ugandan jail. Dr Besigye denies charges of treason and rape. Report excerpt:

Britain is to cut the amount of direct aid it gives to Uganda by 15m pounds because of concerns about the country's slow progress to democracy.

The money will be diverted to aid agencies in the conflict zone of north Uganda, International Development Secretary, Hilary Benn said.

A further 4m pounds is being held back pending the conduct of presidential elections due in February next year.

The announcement follows a similar move by Sweden, which diverted 4.6m pounds.

Northern Uganda is terrorised by rebel fighters who kidnap children and force them to fight.

The Lord's Resistance Army has murdered tens of thousands of people during a 19-year campaign.

They are led by Joseph Kony, who claims he is on a mission from God and wants Uganda's laws to replicate the Ten Commandments.

More than 25,000 children have been abducted and now represent 80% of the rebel force.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Democracy and African nations: The Answer or the Disaster?

Next year in Uganda, an election is due to take place. Please note important blog Museveni OUT Campaign and read ITS TIME FOR MUSEVENI TO GO! It reminds readers that Museveni came to power by overturning a legally established government by use of force of arms, and even if opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye is kept behind bards throughout the elections, 'his supporters can still cast a clear and overwhelming protest vote in favor of a change in leadership for Uganda'.

Also, note Dr D's Human rights 4 all-Africa blog and interesting comments at post on Africa's ability to handle democracy or not.

Dr. D is an Associate Professor of Government at Franklin & Marshall College and specialises in human rights and African politics.

[My thoughts are democracy could work if all the crazy men that Africans allow to rule their countries were deposed and replaced with strong African women. Note Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's story and how Africa's first female president is ready to repay a favour.]

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Humanitarian Appeal: By Emergency - CAP Uganda 2006 - Consolidated Appeal

Continued attacks by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda have made it difficult for humanitarian workers to assist about 2.5 million people in the region to meet their basic needs, a senior UN official said on Monday. Full report from IRIN 14 Dec 2005 - excerpts:

1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in extreme poverty and inhuman conditions in camps in Acholi region.

Others include IDPs in [eastern] Teso and Lango regions; some 260,000 refugees in eight districts in the [northwestern] West Nile and western regions of the country; and more than 500,000 drought affected people in [northeastern] Karamoja region.

Northern Uganda has remained the scene of a brutal insurgency that pits government forces against the LRA, resulting in the displacement of close to 90 percent of the region's people.

The displaced live in 105 overcrowded camps and rely largely on external assistance for survival while insecurity hinders access of relief workers to IDP camps.

"The killing of humanitarian workers in northern Uganda and southern Sudan between the last week of October and the first week of November has further undermined unhindered access in most of Acholi sub-region and northern Lango," he noted.

The rebels also frequently attack refugee settlements in the northwestern town of Adjumani. At the same time, LRA activities in southern Sudan have led to the arrival of a new wave of Sudanese refugees.

Mogwanja urged the government to increase military patrols along the main roads and around IDP settlements.

Note Consolidated Appeal for Uganda 2006 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 30 Nov 2005.