Jump to navigation

Published 9th August 2002

Vol 43 No 16


Don't praise the lord

Kony's northern rebels expose the ruling army's faults but Operation Iron Fist fails to defeat them

If it was the last kick of a dying horse, it was a powerful one. At daybreak on 5 August, a group of Lord's Resistance Army rebels led by Joseph Kony attacked a refugee camp at Acol-Pii in northern Uganda, killed over 50 civilians and stole food, drugs and military equipment. The camp was guarded by the Ugandan People's Defence Force and administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; the raid seemed designed to cause maximum political damage to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Two days previously, he had donned military fatigues and announced he would be spending the next ten days in the north to oversee the next phase of Operation Iron Fist against the LRA. For the Acholi people of northern Uganda, the main victim of Kony's attacks, Iron Fist has failed. In the previous week, the LRA had massacred more than 50 villagers in Mucwini, Kitgum, and abducted 100 children. Iron Fist started in February after Museveni made an extraordinary deal with Sudan's Lieutenant General Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir. The UPDF gained the right to hot pursuit of the LRA into Sudan, while Uganda promised to end military support for John Garang de Mabior's Sudan People's Liberation Army. The National Islamic Front regime has quartered and supplied Kony's rebels from their inception, in retaliation for Uganda's long-standing support for the SPLA (AC Vol 43 No 9).

Soldiers of tomorrow

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

The Uganda People's Defence Force is under siege at home and abroad. Its mediation in Sudan looks even less credible than its attempts to dig its way out of its greedy and failing ...

Muddying Machakos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

The gap widens between interpretations of last month's peace agreement

The Machakos Protocol, signed by the National Islamic Front government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement in Kenya on 20 July (AC Vol 43 No 15), does not mean what it ...

Blaise wins again

Both the President and the opposition seem to be aiming for respectability

President Blaise Compaoré has a remarkable ability to cause tremendous trouble for his neighbours and still come up smelling of roses. Despite all his years of support for L...

Eastward Ho!

Igbo politics are boiling with preparations for next year's general elections. Since the dream of an independent Biafra was crushed in 1970, many Igbo have felt marginalised, and s...

Political famine

Government corruption and greedy traders are adding to the horrors of the famine

Malawi's Poverty Alleviation Minister Leonard Mangulama is the first political casualty of Southern Africa's food crisis. Mangulama, who was Minister of Agriculture when President ...

Home made, world class

Igbo entrepreneurs make lots of money and might make more but for the Feds

The Igbo people of south-east Nigeria took a terrible battering in the civil war of the 1960s, and the region's businesses were almost all destroyed. The recent achievements of eas...


Too good

The government has raised eyebrows by contracting a $1 billion, low-interest loan from a group calling itself the International Finance Consortium (not to be confused with the Inte...

Patassé's pals

President Ange-Félix Patassé has become even more dependent on the protection of Libya and its Bangui garrison, as last month's arrest of Finance Minister Eric Sorong...

No go NGO

As Egypt's government celebrated the 50th anniversary of the coup that toppled King Farouk and brought Gamal Abdel Nasser to power, a state security court handed seven years in gao...

In need

The African Union has refused President Marc Ravalomanana recognition until legislative elections are held ­ ostensibly to confirm that the public really backs his presidency &...