Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kony could strike back

The new investigative reporting publication, The Independent, in Kampala, Uganda, ( is reporting on growing dissent among the current and former military leaders in Uganda over the on-going operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The generals suggest that the strike against Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army, was designed as a short-term move. But since it has failed to turn up much, except for things like Kony's guitar, pictured here, the strike is looking more like it will be a long and bloody affair.
As Independent's managing editor Andrew Mwenda notes, it would seem like the operation could and should be a success. After all, the Ugandan army is backed by the UN peacekeeping force to the south. To the north it has the South Sudan army, and on their side is the Congolese army.
Kony is supposedly boxed in.
But according to one unnamed general, a long-term war in that remote location could be disastrous for the Ugandan army. A sustained campaign could work to Kony's advantage.
First of all, the general points out, the Congolese and South Sudanese contributions to the effort are limited. It's unlikely they will have the stomach for an drawn-out war.
Secondly, the LRA is accustomed to working in small, highly mobile, and independent units. They survive by attacking and looting villages and are not interested in taking and holding territory.
But most importantly, to sustain such a war, Uganda will need to establish base camps and supply lines treacherous and remote areas.

“This will leave our army badly exposed,” the general told the Independent, “because LRA will now be able to attack UPDF supply lines to loot food (and therefore feed off our backs) and to make it difficult and expensive for us to sustain our troops" in Garamba National Park where Kony is still thought to be.
"It would be almost impossible (and if possible extremely expensive in money and soldiers) to secure the vast distance ..., " the general said. "There are no roads, there are few human settlements and most of the place is either forest or bush. No commander would love to be in such a situation.”
Not only is the future bleak for the innocent civilians in the area who have suffered, but also for the Uganda military.

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