Sunday, September 18, 2005

Gen. Kony's Lord's Resistance Army Turns into 'Crude Oil!'

There is a strong connection between Southern Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. The recent peace accord between the SPLM and Sudan government was negotiated and signed in Kenya, while Uganda gave SPLM support and accommodation. Meanwhile, Sudan hosted the LRA.

Now the table is turning. Garang was sworn in as first vice president of Sudan and the south effectively given self-government or autonomy. In six-year time the south will decide in a referendum whether to secede from Sudan or not.

Garang then made a visit to Kenya and decided to pass through Uganda on his return trip to Sudan. On his way back to his base in New Site in Sudan, Garang was killed in a Uganda presidential helicopter crash. That crash has been mired in controversies prompting Museveni to come out with several conflicting statements about it. In one, he claimed that '"Some people say accident. It may be an accident, it may be something else," Museveni said, according to radio and news agency reports. He said the helicopter was "very well equipped . . .The one I am flying all the time. I am not ruling anything out. Either the pilot panicked, or there was some side wind, or the instruments failed, or there was an external factor."' The Sudanese were baffled.

Before he left Rwakitura, Museveni's Ranch, Garang had made a statement that "Kony won't be hiding there for long. It is not only Kony, but also all the militias who have been operating in the area. We need to provide peace, security and stability, so the militias including those that were formerly supported by the government, must be disbanded."
The terms of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement effectively splits Sudan into two 'states' and with the existence of large reserve of crude oil particularly in the south, many companies and groups are already vying for prime spot in the country. It would not be surprising if Salim Saleh, Museveni's brother, moved his base into Sudan to 'finish Kony and his LRA.'

What would Museveni the tactician do in such a situation? Less than a month, Silva Kiir the man who replaced Garang made a similar visit to Museveni on September 7, 2005. Garang died in helicopter crash July 30, 2005 after discussing LRA with Museveni. Kiir also discussed the possibility of Sudanese soldiers joining forces with Ugandan army to fight the Lords Resistance Army based in southern Sudan. Now, all of a sudden, Kony and his LRA has shifted further north of the 'red line' deeper into Sudan and Museveni needs to get closer to them! Is Kony the red herring to allow Museveni occupy Southern Sudan?

As reported:
On September 4, 2005 PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has asked Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir to allow the UPDF to pursue LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony, who has fled beyond the Red Line.

A few days later:
KAMPALA, 15 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - A group of about 40 raiders believed to be fighters of the Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel movement attacked villages in southern Sudan earlier this week, setting homes on fire and abducting several people, officials said on Thursday.There was no report of casualties.

The plot thickens when the LRA, which has hitherto not operated across the White Nile, attacked villages, burned houses and traveled west with the intention of entering the DRC. The cycle is complete. Museveni is positioning himself for a piece of the action in Sudan. In this scenario, Southern Sudan might as well bid goodbye to peace!

In the case of Congo's mineral resources, Museveni paired with Kagame to topple Gen. Mobutu and installed Laurent Kabila. Then the mineral rich areas in the east were occupied by Ugandan and Rwandese troops. These armies were under separate command. In fact, there were several face-offs between Rwandese and Ugandan armies that prevented Museveni from subverting Rwanda's sovereignty.

Will Salva Kiir allow Museveni to wedge Uganda soldiers between Juba and Khartoum? Interestingly, Salva Kiir, when asked about the need for "one Sudan", after Garang's demise, said that "Let us cross the bridge when we reach it". He was referring to the referendum on the issue of a united Sudan, which is due to be held in six years. Museveni may be trying to speed up that day.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Museveni Makes a Surprise Skirmish into Sudan

Museveni Makes a Surprise Skirmish into Sudan

When Museveni went to Sudan to attend the funeral of General Garang he decided to test a few theories along the way to Yei. In the process he was able to violate the sovereignty of Sudan and test the response he would get if it were a real invasion of Sudan. He attempted a similar trick with Kagame in Rwanda, but it did not work. According to report in the Nation, "A source said Khartoum is particularly concerned that President Museveni entered Sudanese territory without informing the central authority. According to military sources, the president entered Yei under heavy military escort including battlewagons and heavy artillery."
Museveni has used this trick before after concluding the Nairobi peace accord with the UNLA Military Junta of General Tito Lutwa, which has been dubbed "peace jokes." Museveni had demanded that his troops be allowed unrestricted access to the barracks to mingle with the rest of the army. Instead, he used the opportunity to grab weapons and launch an onslaught on the UNLA from within. That should explain why Museveni "entered Yei under heavy military escort including battlewagons and heavy artillery."
Now Museveni's minister for defense, Amama Mbaazi wants $200 million to finish Kony. Meanwhile, Museveni asked Khartoum to "allow" him to follow Kony up to north of Juba Road because Kony has moved north of that road! At the same time Museveni claimed in Gulu that he could finish Kony in 30 minutes thereby stretching the imagination of we ordinary Ugandans. If Uganda army is now located north of Juba road a big logistic nightmare would have been solved in preparation for following "Kony" all the way to Khartoum. In line with Museveni style, the SPLA would now be foolish enough to renege on the peace talk that allowed power sharing and go for the seat of Omar Bashir where General Kony is supposed to be running to. What else would Museveni want from SPLA?
Museveni is the one to lose from a stable Sudan after the peace accord signed in Kenya because it would make him look out of place with the northern Uganda war which has no meaning whichever way you look at it except to generate millions of dollars for Museveni in the name of fighting terrorism. The late Garang and his deputy, Salva Kiir, fought a long war that has now been ended and they have started moving towards coexistence. They know what is best for their people. All that Museveni want to do is wreck the SPLM peace with Khartoum because it puts him in a bad light.

I, seriously, would wish the Sudanese government to allow Museveni to move his troops in Gulu to north of Juba road so that peace can return to Acholiland.
Khartoum, grant us that one wish!