Ugandan authorities had foiled an attack by militants, after police in Uganda’s capital seized explosives and suicide vests and arrested 19 people. On September 15, Dan Travis, a Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, said without giving more details that the United States had helped the Ugandan government during the raid.
“All I can say is that we were asked by the Ugandan authorities to lend support and we did lend support but I can’t discuss the nature of that support,” he said.
In 2010 militants carried out attacks in sports bars where people were watching the soccer World Cup on television in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, leaving left 74 dead and dozens more injured.
Al Shabaab controlled Mogadishu and the southern region of Somalia from 2006 to 2011. It was driven out of the capital by peacekeeping forces deployed by the African Union.
The African Union forces opened a new offensive in Somalia this year to push the Islamists out of towns and other areas they still control. Several centres have been retaken, but al Shabaab remains in control of some towns and swathes of countryside
[April 22 2013 Joseph Kony: despite Libreville Accords, search suspended]
The Joseph Kony search has been suspended amid turmoil in Central African Republic. Rebel groups unaffiliated with Kony seized power in the Central African Republic last month, forcing President Francois Bozize – who had been friendly with Washington – to flee the country. Jeffrey Feltman, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, assured CAR Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye April 21 of continued support for implementation of the Libreville Accords signed with a rebel coalition that ousted his Government from the CAR capital, Bangui, on 24 March. Victoria Nuland said that ‘Washington continues to recognise the national unity government led by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye as the only legitimate government’ in the impoverished and frequently unstable country, which France has dubbed the neglected ‘Cinderella’ of their African colonial empire and the Americans have called it a ‘phantom state.’ The US military said it will not withdraw its troops from the Central African Republic for now in hopes that a political solution can be reached soon so the search for Kony can resume. Meanwhile, the 40 US special forces troops will remain at two camps deep in the bush, near the towns of Obo and Djema.
The rest of the 60 US troops are stationed in Uganda, South Sudan and Congo, where they will continue normal operations, said Major Robert Firman, a Pentagon spokesman.
South African troops will join a new “intervention brigade” for Congo that was authorized on March 28 by the U.N. Security Council to help bring peace to the country’s conflict-wracked east. The resolution lets the brigade carry out offensive operations alone or with Congolese soldiers to neutralize and disarm armed groups.
“We will be sending forces to form part of the intervention force,” said Brig. Gen. Xolani Mabanga, a South African military spokesman. South Africa said April 8 that it will contribute forces to a United Nations military mission with an unprecedented mandate to take action against rebel groups in Congo, just over two weeks after 13 South African troops died in a battle with rebels in Central African Republic. A force of about 200 South Africans in March fought a larger group of rebels that advanced on the capital, Bangui, and overthrew the president, Francois Bozize.
Opposition lawmakers in South Africa had questioned the government’s explanation amid allegations that South African military tasks included the protection of Bozize, who himself seized power after a rebellion a decade ago. Bozize fled to Cameroon after his ouster and is seeking exile in the West African state of Benin.
The battle in Central African Republic damaged South Africa’s reputation and showed that the troops’ deployment in a bilateral arrangement had left them exposed.
South African troops have not done badly when deployed under the auspices of the United Nations or African Union, highlighting the need for logistics and clear terms of engagement.
To bring Kony to justice, the United States Government is offering a reward to individuals who furnish information leading to his arrest, transfer, or conviction for war crimes or crimes against humanity.
All information regarding the identity of any informant will be kept strictly confidential.
Caesar Achellam was captured in an ambush along the River Mbou, as he attempted to cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ugandan army said. The army also detained his wife and an escort. At least a dozen fighters escaped the ambush.
Mr. Achellam is among the top three LRA commanders who have been on the run for more than two decades.
[October 31 2012]
The African Union is in the process of establishing a regional anti-Kony force composed of 5,000 men from the four countries affected by LRA activities. In September, CAR provided 450 men, South Sudan 500 and Uganda 2,000. The Democratic Republic of Congo has yet to make any troops available.
USAID will help communities in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) reduce their vulnerability to violence from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The Secure, Empowered, Connected Communities (SECC) program will support communities to develop and implement security plans and reduce their isolation and vulnerability through communications technology and skills building. The three-year award advances community-driven solutions to complex and enduring problems. The program will be implemented by Catholic Relief Services.
Ugandan troops tracking infamous rebel leader Joseph Kony have handed over command of the operation to African Union troops from Uganda, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The ceremony took place September 18 in the South Sudanese town of Nzara. It remains unclear how many of the proposed 5,000 troops have been amassed, although the handover ceremony suggests they have enough to start with. The force will be led by Ugandan Col. Dick Olum.
Col. Dick Prit Olum Tuesday evening took over command of the operation during a ceremony held in Yambio, South Sudan.
He will be deputized by Col. Gabriel Ayok Akuok of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
The ceremony was attended by the American ambassador to South Sudan, Susan Denise Page, representatives from the European Union, and civil society organisations.
[August 29]Ungandan soldiers hunting Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony clashed with the forces of one of his top deputies, killing two, the army said August 28.
The clash between a squad of Ugandan troops and the insurgents — headed by Dominic Ongwen, one of three LRA commanders wanted by the International Criminal Court — took place on Friday in remote jungle in the Central African Republic, said Ugandan army spokesman Felix Kulayigye.
Dominic Ongwen is a brigade commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group which has been fighting against the Government of Uganda since 1987. He is accused of participating in a violent campaign ordered in mid-2002 by Joseph Kony and targeted against the civilian population in northern Uganda. The campaign has brought about the plundering and destruction of villages and refugee camps, killings and abductions of civilians. It has involved the enforced recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence against girls.
The warrant of arrest for Dominic Ongwen was issued by the International Criminal Court on 8 July 2005. It lists seven counts on the basis of individual criminal responsibility including three counts of crimes against humanity and four counts of war crimes. He remains at large.
[May 13]A senior commander in the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army has been captured by the Ugandan army.
Caesar Achellam was seized on May 12 following a struggle between Ugandan soldiers and a group of 30 rebels.
[April 17]The U.S.Special Forces soldiers never enter the forests to track down Kony.The several dozen U.S. soldiers deployed to Obo are providing support not only to troops from the Central African Republic, but also to a contingent from neighboring Uganda, whose continued pursuit of the Ugandan warlord has spilled into the Central African Republic and other neighboring countries since the militia leader was driven out of Uganda several years ago.
In addition to those posted in Obo, the U.S. soldiers dispatched to the Central African Republic include some in the town of Djema, to the north. Others in the region include small groups sent to Uganda, Congo and South Sudan.
Some analysts say the main U.S. priority in the region is to maintain a vital counterterrorism partnership with Uganda and its president, Yoweri Museveni, whose forces form the bulk of an American-backed African Union force fighting al-Shabab, the Somali militia linked to al-Qaeda.
Since 2008, the United States has provided nearly $50 million in logistical support and nonlethal equipment to Uganda’s military to fight the LRA and nearly $500 million to support LRA victims in northern Uganda.
Critics say such monetary support helps explain Uganda’s failure to capture Kony despite many opportunities. Several official investigations in Uganda have showed that military officers profiteered from the protracted conflict.
“Kony was a golden chicken for Museveni’s UPDF. And he still is,” said Munie, referring to the Ugandan military. “Museveni is instrumental for the U.S. geopolitically in this part of the world.”
[ 22 February] In 2011, the US deployed about 100 troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Uganda to assist the region’s military forces in killing or capturing f Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) “With our support, these four military forces continue to make progress in reducing the LRA numbers and keeping them from regrouping. We believe it is critical the militaries in the region continue to work together to keep the pressure on the LRA and protect their own citizens. As we have seen in the past, the LRA will exploit any reduction in military or diplomatic pressure to regroup and rebuild their forces,” The initial deployment will be in Uganda,and the advisers will operate in South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo “subject to the approval of each respective host nation.”
Karl Wycoff, the US deputy assistant secretary for African affairs, in a telephone briefing on 22 February,
“Over recent months the military of Uganda, CAR, DRC and South Sudan have continued to carry out operations against the LRA. We are supporting them in these efforts. We are providing logistical support to help the Ugandan military sustain its forward operations against the LRA. We are funding, for example, some airlift, fuel and other transport support for their troops. In the DRC we trained and equipped a Congolese battalion that is now operating in LRA-affected areas of the DRC and we are also working with the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO [UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC].”
About US$40 million has been provided by the US so far in support of the Ugandan military effort.
MONUSCO and Congolese forces were involved in recent operations to prevent any repeats of the LRA’s 2008 and 2009 Christmas massacres, he said, and the US was also providing support to CAR and South Sudan military forces.
“With our support, these four military forces continue to make progress in reducing the LRA numbers and keeping them from regrouping. We believe it is critical the militaries in the region continue to work together to keep the pressure on the LRA and protect their own citizens. As we have seen in the past, the LRA will exploit any reduction in military or diplomatic pressure to regroup and rebuild their forces,” Wycloff said.
[October 15 2011]To Central Africa: President Obama said that although the troops will be combat-ready, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to regional forces fighting for the removal of Joseph Kony, who is the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Obama said the U.S. troops will not engage the L.R.A. directly, except in self-defense. A senior defense official said October 14 that the U.S. group would consist primarily of special operations forces trained in promoting “foreign internal defense.” here American efforts to combat the group also took place during the Bush administration, which authorized the Pentagon to send a team of 17 counterterrorism advisers to train Ugandan troops and provided millions of dollars worth of aid, including fuel trucks, satellite phones and night vision goggles, to the Ugandan army. Those efforts scattered segments of the LRA; its remnants dispersed and regrouped in Uganda’s neighbors.