Skip to Content

Uganda Or Somalia? Get Your Story Straight, America

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

 

by Mark P. Fancher

The U.S. and Uganda are playing a cynical game of musical chairs in Africa. The Americans send Green Berets to Uganda, ostensibly to help the beleaguered Ugandan military hunt down Joseph Kony’s LRA guerillas, while the Ugandans send thousands of soldiers to Somalia to prop up the U.S.-backed government in Mogadishu. “The U.S. has no real interest in the LRA, but is drawn instead to oil fields in Uganda and South Sudan.”

 

Uganda Or Somalia? Get Your Story Straight, America

by Mark P. Fancher

U.S. Marines have been in Uganda training Ugandan soldiers – not to participate in the search for the LRA – but to instead prepare for deployment to Somalia.”

At times, even apologists for the U.S. military presence in Africa must find it difficult to offer a rationale for these missions with a straight face. Several months ago, President Obama authorized the deployment of U.S. troops to Uganda and the surrounding region, presumably to pursue the now-famous Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). It was suggested that U.S. involvement was important because Uganda’s military had failed over the course of more than two decades, to capture the elusive leader of a group accused of mass killings, kidnappings, maiming and other crimes.

If the danger posed by the LRA is so grave that it compels a war-weary U.S. to, yet again, send its soldiers into harm’s way on foreign soil, one would think that Uganda’s military must be dedicating its full attention and resources to the hunt for the Kony organization. Think again. Instead, a substantial number of Ugandan troops have been deployed to Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

AMISOM is a UN-approved peace-keeping mission intended to stabilize war-torn Somalia. Although it is not exclusively a military operation, armed troops are its primary feature. During the latter part of 2011, the operation involved almost 10,000 soldiers, with the majority of them coming from Uganda and Burundi.

One would think that Uganda’s military must be dedicating its full attention and resources to the hunt for the Kony organization.”

In recent months, U.S. Marines have been in Uganda training Ugandan soldiers – not to participate in the search for the LRA – but to instead prepare for deployment to Somalia. According to a U.S. embassy report, Ugandan troops were being trained to serve as “counter-terrorism engineer companies” to be used “to support infantry battalions.” The report quoted Major Charles Baker as saying: “The genesis of this mission was operations in Mogadishu, Somalia, where African Union peacekeepers experienced [explosive devices] and other complex obstacles, which exposed them to ambushes by al-Shabaab.” The trainees were also being supplied with combat engineer tool kits, mine detectors and armored bulldozers.

Ugandan involvement has not been limited to grunt soldier patrols. In February, Okello Oryem, Uganda’s Minister of State for Foreign and International Affairs, paid a high level visit to the African Union’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia. While there, Oryem proclaimed: “The Government of Uganda remains committed to maintaining its troops in Somalia as long as it takes.”

The unwavering commitment of the Ugandan government to address the “crisis” in Somalia appears to be matched only by the unwavering commitment of the U.S. government to address the “crisis” in Uganda. General Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), said the U.S. military’s role in the war against the LRA is “best done through support, advising and assistance, rather than U.S. military personnel in the lead actually conducting the operations to try to find Kony and capture him.” The presence of significant contingents of Ugandan troops in Somalia begs an obvious question. Who is left in Uganda for U.S. troops to assist?

The Government of Uganda remains committed to maintaining its troops in Somalia as long as it takes.”

The incongruity of the two countries’ missions only fuels suspicions that the U.S. has no real interest in the LRA, but is drawn instead to oil fields in Uganda and South Sudan. There is also a growing belief that the U.S. perceived an urgent need for a military presence in the region only after China began to assist the Ugandan government with oil production. These suspicions have only been reinforced by an insistence by many in northern Uganda that Joseph Kony left the country several years ago.

Whatever true motivations the U.S. may have for deploying troops to Africa, the mission will remain the cause of considerable head-scratching bewilderment for those who try to connect the dots from Uganda to Somalia.

Mark P. Fancher is a lawyer who writes frequently on the U.S. military presence in Africa. He can be reached at mfancher@comcast.net

Share this

Comments

Scorched earth policy?

In my opinion, if NATO isn't putting in the actual work, the goal is to arm both sides of a conflict and let them go at it. You accomplish two things:

1. You drain whatever resources AU governments have (the west sees the AU as a Chinese vassal organization)

2. You kick the Chinese out; stop African development.

Look at Kenya. They can't even feed their own people and they wanna purchase expensive weapons?

A Big Reason for Famine in Parts of Kenya & Parts of Africa Is -

One of the main reasons there's famine in parts of Kenya [& this goes for parts of Africa as well], is because major portions of Kenya's best farm-land is used to grow flowers [as in roses & tulips], tea & coffee for the UK & EU market [FYI: Kenya is their main supplier of flowers] instead of food crops to feed starving Kenyans! [let alone starving Ethiopians, Somalians, Ugandans, etc]! The phony 'cash'-crop sham is one of the biggest scams ever to be sold to Africa & the so-called 3rd World!

Pacifica won't bite the wall st./london hand that feeds it

Why U.S. military in Uganda?

Soros fingerprints all over it!

Obama’s billionaire friend has interests in African country’s oil

http://kleinonline.wnd.com/2011/10/15/212-4/

Soros-funded HRW Jumps on Kony2012 AFRICOM Crusade

Another video of "Africans" begging the US to invade & occupy Africa

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/03/soros-funded-hrw-jumps-on-kony...

Real v Fake Reason to be Wary of InvisibleChildren Africa Agenda

DN!: A lot of people have been critical of the film [Kony 2012] because of the alliance of Invisible Children with evangelical Christian groups in the U.S. [DN! then showed a UK comedian satirizing this point. Yet DN! fails to explain why US evangelical / missionary Christian activity in Africa is particularly noteworthy {unless your coming from an secular-atheist perspective}. Now I'm NO big fan of white / Euro-Christian evangelical / missionary activity in Africa- but there's certainly nothing new about it - it's been going on for decades if not centuries- including: Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Protestants, Seven Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, hell even the Mormon have gotten into the act. But lets see Invisible Children from another perspective- NOTE the following response:]- DN!: Milton Allimadi [of the Black Star News], your comments on the evangelical strains of Invisible Children? 

MILTON ALLIMADI: ' The relationship between Invisible Children and the U.S. government and the Ugandan regime disturbed me a lot. There's the revelation that the U.S. ambassador to Uganda in Feb 2009 memo had written a cable, revealed by WikiLeaks, indicating that Invisible Children had approached the U.S. embassy and made it known that they were going to be conducting campaigns that would advocate and promote the military solution... A 2nd memo, which was actually much more disturbing, said that Invisible Children had provided a tip to Ugandan intelligence services, leading to the arrest of a suspected regime opponent. This suspected regime opponent used to be a child soldier, as well, and had been taken under the care of Invisible Children and was, in fact, staying at one of their facilities in Uganda. He was arrested. People that are arrested by intelligence services in Uganda are subjected to torture. Subsequent to his arrest, 9 other Ugandans were arrested, and now they face treason charges. Treason in Uganda is punishable by the death penalty... - So Invisible Children seems to be involved in a relationship in-line with the U.S. administration and the Ugandan regime in advocating and pushing the military solution as the only approach, thus disregarding voices of Ugandans such as Bishop Odama, Bishop Ochola, who come from the war-affected region, who have been pushing the resumption of a negotiated solution to this war...'

Bro ALLIMADI revelation of Invisible children acting as agents for Uganda's Museveni regime & progandist for the US Gov't agenda for AFRICOM Military Intervention in Africa [which is exactly what Kony 2012 is]- is a far more substantive critique than what DN! was pushing RE: Christian Evangelism. BUT Then DN! can't critique Invisible Children's propaganda too sttrongly for hyping AFRICOM military intervention in Africa after DN! helped hype FUK-US NATO's assault on Libya last yr.



Clicky Web Analytics
Dr. Radut | blog