Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Another Oil War in the Offing ?

Sabre rattling is rising between Ugandan and Congolese government troops . The tensions began after the Congolese military captured the four Ugandan soldiers on July 29. There was also a pre-dawn attack on a barge on Lake Albert by what Uganda says were Congolese government troops. The attack that left a British contractor dead . The Ugandan soldiers were captured as they patrolled the Albert waters . The barge was attacked by Three armed patrol boats from the DR Congo . The Congolese commander on the ground said his forces came under fire from a Ugandan army naval patrol boat and only responded in self-defence.

The lake, which lies on the floor of the western arm of the Great African Rift Valley, straddles part of the Uganda-Congo border in an area where two companies, Heritage of Canada and Tullow of the UK, are prospecting for oil. Heritage owns two concessions in a 50-50 partnership with UK-based Tullow Oil on the lake's eastern shores. Tullow also wholly owns one block.

A senior government official said yesterday that Kinshasa "suspects that we are encroaching on their oil wells" hence they attacked hoping to send a message.

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