100702 Ugandan rebels attack Eastern Congo
KAMPALA, July 2, 2010 ( CISA
<file://cisa2009/Cisa2009/Cisa/CISA/Bulletins%20Out/http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/> ) –
The Ugandan military has been put on heightened alert following an attack by a Ugandan rebel
group in nearby eastern Congo that left 16 people dead.
Ugandan officials put the blame on fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces.
Ugandan army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Felix Kulayigye said troops in the western border
areas are closely monitoring the rebel group's activities, following the attack Monday on
Mutwanga village - about 50 kilometres from Uganda's border with Congo, Kinshasa.
The army has deployed 15,000 reservists on standby to respond to any attempts by Allied
Democratic Forces militia to enter Uganda.
"The attack does not come as a surprise to us," said army spokesman Kulayigye. "Probably, they
are beginning active operations in an attempt to gain more food and more resources.
The last time they tried to operate inside our country, they were given a bad blow. This was in
March 2007, and they have been trying to recover from that blow and maybe [they are] trying to
capture or kidnap more people to beef up their numbers," Colonel Kulayigye said.
The rebel group emerged as a localized threat in 1996, setting up bases in western Uganda. Core
members include fundamentalist Tabliq Muslims and remnants of another now-defunct rebel
group called the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda.
The rebels have long claimed that they are fighting the government of President Yoweri Museveni
to protest political and economic marginalization of Muslims in Uganda.
But the group is best known for committing atrocities and kidnapping local civilian populations,
and carrying out a string of bombings, particularly, in the capital, Kampala, in the late 1990s.
Between 1997 and 1999, the Allied Democratic Forces foot soldiers numbered up to 3,000. But a
joint Ugandan and Congolese operation against the group in 2004 is thought to have reduced the
number to around 100.
Colonel Kulayigye suggests the rebels staged the attack to create a climate of fear before
Uganda's presidential race in February.
Meanwhile, the military is trying to determine who killed at least 10 Ugandan troops last month in
Central African Republic during an operation against another Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's
Resistance Army said Colonel Kulayigye.
"Yes, there was an incident, where a squad that was pursuing the LRA was ambushed, and we
are still trying to confirm who exactly this group is. We are sure it was not the LRA because these
people were mounted on donkeys and horses. The LRA does not have those animals," the army
Media reports in Uganda say the death toll could be as high as 18, including five officers.
Ugandan troops have been deployed across Sudan, eastern Congo, and Central African Republic
for nearly two years in pursuit of LRA leader Joseph Kony, who has eluded capture for more than
Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against