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Published 5th December 2003

Vol 44 No 24


Uganda

Military muscle, political problems

The government's failure to end the LRA's brutal campaign points to a growing national crisis

After 18 years of the Lord's Resistance Army's murderous attacks on civilians, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni declares on 14 November that the LRA is 'nearly finished' ­ then the LRA launches another round of attacks to prove him wrong. The President, who has stationed himself in northern Uganda to lead the military campaign against the LRA, had been encouraged by the reported death of LRA commander General Charles Tabuley. Museveni had declared that LRA leader Joseph Kony's 'incursion into Teso region has been defeated' (AC Vol 44 No 19). Within three days, the LRA was launching a fresh attack on Lira district, north-west of Teso, bludgeoning twelve civilians to death and displacing tens of thousands of local people. For the 34 members of parliament who represent the northern and eastern constituencies, this was the final straw. Led by Nwoya MP Zachary Olum and Oyen MP Okullo Epak, they walked out of parliament on 18 November, to protest at what they see as the government's failure to protect its people. What especially triggered their fury was that the attacks happened only some six kilometres from the nearest army post and so might have been repulsed if not entirely prevented. This follows a warning by Museveni that he personally would arrest anyone criticising the government army. A former army captain and now MP, Charles Byanruhanga, had criticised Museveni for creating the impression that the Uganda Peoples' Defence Force was his personal army.


Colonel Kizza's story

In exile after claiming to have been targeted by government assassins, Colonel Kizza Besigye remains the opposition's most credible flagbearer. His strength is that he was for year...


Peace or bust

Congolese desperation – not great leaders or Western generosity – is forcing change

Two heavily armed factions within Congo's transitional power-sharing government came to blows on the night of 17 November. Officers of President Joseph Kabila's Agence Nationale de...


After the war economy

Kinshasa has high hopes of the World Bank consultative group meeting in Paris on 17-18 December, where eight Congolese ministers will argue for more aid to consolidate the peace. A...


Armed and angry

Militias: mediators ignore them, Garang shuns them, the NIF loves them

Sudan's peace talks are rumbling to a probable conclusion imposed by the 'Troika' of interested Western governments the United States, Britain and Norway within a few months or eve...


Cleaned out

As questions are raised about oil production, cash and crude both need a clean up

Congo-Brazzaville is broke, chronically indebted and at odds with the International Monetary Fund, whose technicians say that 57 billion CFA francs (US$102.3 million) of this year'...



Pointers

Chilling out Chiluba

Ex-President Frederick Chiluba faces two trials this month, after his lawyers failed to block the charges against him as 'vindictive and unfair' (AC Vol 44 No 19); they now insist ...


Urban guerrillas

As it plots a path beyond President Joaquim Chissano's retirement at 2004's general elections, the ruling Frente de Libertação de Moçambique has emerged from N...


Missing airline

Who stole Nigeria Airways? A cabal of managers, ministers and senior officials, said a judicial inquiry report last month. It details how the airline was destroyed by asset strippi...


We interrupt . . .

Lieutenant Zadi's forcible interruption of state television programmes on 30 November to demand the withdrawal of French troops may presage a new offensive by loyalists of Presiden...