Thursday, August 16, 2007

War Threat Warms Up

Further to an earlier post , we can report that this conflict is heating up .

The Ugandan army has confirmed that it is deploying heavily along the common border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and that it has asked for permission to cross the border to stem insecurity after a series of attacks on its territory by the Congolese army and suspected militias. An unidentified armed group attacked Butogota town in Kanungu district in western Uganda on Wednesday morning, killed three people, injured several others and looted shops in the area in a siege that lasted several hours.

The latest attacks came a day after Kampala wrote to Kinshasa inviting the DRC officials for talks over a disputed border island in Lake Albert, in an area where exploration teams have recently found commercially-viable deposits of oil and natural gas.
The invitation was seen as directly arising out of the incidents in which Congolese soldiers abducted four Ugandan soldiers on July 29 and opened fire on an oil-prospecting barge on the lake a few days later, killing the British oil explorer. A senior Ugandan government official told The EastAfrican that Kinshasa "suspects that we are encroaching on their oil wells" and had ordered the attacks "to send a message."

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