Ugandan army launches crackdown on rebel activity

Mar 21, 2012, 2:30 PM

Associated Press

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – The Ugandan military has launched a crackdown on Ugandans suspected of supporting a resurgent rebellion, opposition politicians said Wednesday, warning that the military operation could soon target politicians opposed to the government.

The Uganda People’s Congress, one of the country’s oldest political parties, said 86 Ugandans have been detained at secret locations around the country as the army moves to combat what it views as a resurgent rebel group _ the Allied Democratic Forces _ in central and eastern Uganda.

The army said it is holding 60 people and denies its methods are violent.

Joseph Bbosa, a Uganda People’s Congress party official, said there were “numerous arrests being carried out throughout the country.” None of those in custody had been produced in court, he told a new conference in Kampala.

The Ugandan army believes the ADF, which once terrorized parts of Uganda including the capital, is actively regrouping in eastern Congo and could attack Uganda.

Col. Felix Kulayigye, the spokesman for the Ugandan army, told The Associated Press last week that Allied Democratic Forces rebels were conducting military drills in three camps in eastern Congo, where the Congolese national army has no reach. Kulayigye says the drills are being conducted 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the border.

“We have suspects that we believe are involved in subversive activities,” he said. “For us, being in the opposition is not criminal.”

Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, the Ugandan army commander, visited the Congolese capital of Kinshasa last week to try and compel the Congolese government to take action against the rebels, according to Kulayigye.

The Allied Democratic Forces, which was formed in the 1990s by Muslims who felt sidelined by the policies of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, has been actively recruiting among Muslim families in central Uganda. It is led by a convert to Islam named Jamil Mukulu. Analysts say the group is more likely to stage a terrorist strike than wage a conventional war.

The group, which has always used Congo as its base, gained notoriety in the late 1990s for its grenade attacks in Kampala as well as for the 1998 massacre of 80 students in a frontier town.

Opposition politicians here fear the government is using the threat of rebellion to intimidate the political opposition and to bring up trumped-up treason charges against those who have long opposed the government. They say the suspects, some of whom are political activists in their villages, are being tortured.

“We are getting concerned,” said Michael Osinde, who runs the human rights desk at the Uganda People’s Congress. “If they have been arrested on genuine charges, why not take them to a police station?”

Ugandan army officials say the Allied Democratic Forces is the most lethal of several rebel groups that have sprung up in opposition to the government of Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986. The reports of fresh rebel activity come at a time of political turmoil for Museveni, who is facing increasing criticism within and outside his own party for what many see as his role in aiding official corruption.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
3 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
3 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago
Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press. The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Ugandan army launches crackdown on rebel activity