THE US on Monday denied that its renewed interest in Uganda is a strategy to get hold of the newly found oil in the country.
The US government has announced that it will deploy troops to help Uganda fight the rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who are currently in the Central African Republic.
Critics have said that the only reason that America seems to be coming up strongly to offer troops to help in fighting Kony when they did not when he was killing people here was because of the oil.
But the Charge d’Affairs at the American embassy in Kampala, Virginia Blaser, said yesterday that the US has been helping Uganda with especially with the humanitarian situation in the North where Kony was killing people. She was addressing journalists at a press conference.
“The US is deeply committed to supporting Uganda’s effort to eliminate the threat of LRA and providing humanitarian assistance to LRA affected regions,” Blazer said. “Since 2008, the LRA has been responsible for at least 2,400 attacks and over 3,400 abductions. According to the UN, there have been approximately 250 attacks attributed to the LRQA this year.
She said that over the recent years, the Ugandan military has persevered through some of the most difficult terrain in the world and significantly reduced the LRA numbers and kept them from regrouping.
She insisted that the US troops will assume an advisory, not a combat role. She said that the continued stay of the US troops is dependent on the continued cooperation of regional governments i8n fighting Kony.
“The US military personnel will assume a supporting role to strengthen information-sharing and operational effectiveness against the LRA,” She said and added that the decision to do so was taken in 2009. She said that only a portion of the personnel will travel to the field locations, but also to advise and would only defend themselves if attacked.
President Yoweri Museveni also told journalists on Sunday that American soldiers will not fight Kony, but will advise the Ugandan army.
“We have American advisors not fighters so there are no American troops here,” Museveni said in answer to journalists’ queries at a press conference yesterday.
According to an earlier message by US president Barrack Obama, the , US troops, could also deploy from Uganda into South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
LRA rebels are accused of terrorizing, murdering, raping and kidnapping thousands of people in the four nations, and tens of thousands of people died in their 20-year war with security forces in northern Uganda.
According to AFP, the president said a small group of troops deployed on Wednesday and that additional forces will deploy over the next month.
Kony, is wanted by the International Criminal Court, over crimes against humanity appears to have dropped any national political agenda and in recent years his marauding troops have sown death and destruction in the region.
The civil war effectively ended in 2006 when a peace process was launched, but Kony and his top commanders continue to commit atrocities in remote areas of neighboring countries.