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Uganda. (Areas of Conflict).

Manipulation and exploitation of ethnic differences has long been used by Uganda's leaders as a tactic for holding onto power. The Baganda people in the country's south continue to demand more recognition for their traditional kingdom. Northern ethnic groups complain of government neglect.

Meanwhile, there are hopes the 15-year-old conflict in northern Uganda is cooling down. The Lord's Resistance Army has abducted 10,000 children and forced them to fight government troops. How-ever, Uganda and Sudan have signed an agreement to stop rebel activity on each side of their common border. This may bring an end to the Lord's Resist-ance Army's tactic of slipping into Sudan to fred sanctuary.

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, was formed in 1987. This was after the defeat of a rebellion by the Holy Spirit Movement, led by Kony's cousin Alice Lakwena. The LRA is notorious for atrocities against civilians. Initially, the LRA had the support of the northern Acholi and Lango tribes who felt marginalized by the government but the abuses against local tribes people weakened this support. The LRA lacks any real political goals, its main stated objective being to govern the country according to its interpretation of the Ten Commandments.

The West Nile Bank Front (WNBF), is dominated by tribes from the West Nile region that make up the bulk of the army of former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The goal of WNBF leaders is to regain power lost when Amin was ousted in 1979.

Since 1997, a third rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), has become active in western Uganda. The ADF includes some ex-commanders of Idi Amin's army. It appears to be driven by an ideology based on Islam.

Villagers in Western Uganda have been subjected to murderous terrorist attacks. The attackers operate from bases within Congo (Zaire) and it seems they want to create an Islamic republic in Uganda. They are stealing village boys and forcing them to fight for them. In December 1999, the rebels killed 21 people in two separate raids.

More than 5,000 people have died in the various conflicts and at least 350,000 have been made homeless.

Websites

Human Rights Network in Uganda - http:// www.uganda.co.ug/hurinet/

The Monitor Newspaper http:// www.monitor.co.ug/
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Publication:Canada and the World Backgrounder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:6UGAN
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:379
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