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Uganda's rebels seen behind border killing

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Kampala, Uganda (UPI) Jul 28, 2010
Hungry rebels of the Allied Democratic Force attacked border villagers in western Uganda as they foraged for food after government forces isolated their supply routes.

The rebels' attacks on Uganda's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo came as President Yoweri Museveni's government and security forces grappled with the threat of further attacks after the July 11 suicide bombings in the capital.

The bombers struck against crowds watching the FIFA World Cup final at two locations in Kampala, causing deaths of more than 74 fans and leaving at least 70 people injured.

Arrests of suspects have continued in the capital. An Eritrean woman identified as the fiancee of one of the July suicide bombers was among 21 suspects held by security forces. Officials said all of the detained suspects could be linked to al-Shabab, the violently anti-Museveni militant group in neighboring Somalia that is seen as one of the regional hubs for al-Qaida.

The security crackdown began as African Union leaders gathered in Kampala earlier this week but continued after the summit participants departed amid unprecedented anti-terrorist precautions throughout their stay.

Unlike the heavy security cordon in Kampala, villages along the border with Congo remain at the mercy of ADF rebels, whose latest victims were traced to the Nyabusozi

village in Bundibugyo district , western Uganda.

Rebels carrying machetes killed a civilian and cut up another villager and took with them two other local residents, security forces said. Uganda People's Defense Force officials said there were fears for the safety of the abducted men as the rebels are known to kill to save on food.

The attack on the villagers occurred after an argument over the carrying of maize the rebels wanted transported to another spot. Recent UPDF operations aided by U.N. peacekeepers drove ADF rebels out of Uganda but most of them returned after hiding in Congolese territory.

Uganda and its AU partners have been preoccupied with security concerns since the July bombing and plans to control the Somali-based rebels. At this week's summit African leaders decided to send several thousand additional peacekeepers to Somalia to try and contain al-Qaida-linked militants who claimed responsibility for the bombing in Kampala.

The additional troops will boost the AU mission in Somalia to nearly 10,000 soldiers but analysts said the Kampala bombing had raised the stakes for Museveni and exposed the government's vulnerability in the capital.

Museveni told the participating leaders, "Let us now act in concert and sweep them (the terrorists) out of Africa," The Daily Nation of Nairobi reported.

However, following security leaders' advice, a forthcoming international cricket match between Uganda and Namibia in September was moved from Kampala to Windhoek, Namibia.

Meanwhile, dozens of the wounded from the July 11 bombings are still in Kampala hospitals, many in critical condition. The medical teams were boosted by the addition of 10 specialists mainly from Nairobi, Kenya, in response to a Ugandan government request.

Police chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura said authorities suspect the attackers took at least six bombs into the country. "So far three went off, one was found and the other two are yet to be found," he told the Daily Monitor.

related report
Liberia's nightmare is not yet over: truth commission
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Liberia said Thursday that the country's nightmare was not over as the body was wound up.

"We disagree that Liberia's nightmare is over. If we ignore the TRC recommendations, we do so at our own peril. For generations to come we will be haunted by the ghosts of the past," TRC Chairman Jerome Verdier said at a ceremony to mark the closure of the commission's headquarters.

"The nightmare of our bitter past will best be declared 'over' when the root causes of our conflict are comprehensively addressed by a national commitment to embrace change, do thing differently and rightfully" he added.

The body was set up after a series of bloody civil conflicts that ended in 2003.

The TRC submitted its final unedited report, which was highly critical of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, in June 2009.

Two weeks ago, in a letter to the Liberian Legislature, the TRC said it would close to the public at the end of July 2010.

In the letter, it noted that the government had cut 500,000 US dollars intended for the winding down of the body's activites after the release of the final report, which meant it owed staff seven months' salary.

"Since June 2009, when the TRC submitted its unedited report, not a single dime has been received from the government of Liberia ... to facilitate the operations of the TRC up to present."

This was "not only unbearable and frustrating; it imposed grave hardship on the transitional leadership and staff of the TRC and gave the unfortunate impression that the TRC is a target of prosecution by government," it said.

The TRC recommended in its report that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be banned from holding public office for 30 years because of her role in the civil war.

Sirleaf's name was among a list of people it accused of having been the financiers and supporters of the different warring factions.

The government has been accused of shying away from the report since its publication, with none of the recommendations of the commission having been carried out.

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