SUDAN WATCH: Is Al-Qaeda Moving to Africa?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Is Al-Qaeda Moving to Africa?

The Sahel is Osama's New Playground
In a scathing attack broadcast on the al-Jazeera satellite television on June I7, a spokesman for Osama Bin Laden, one Ayman al-Zawahiri, denounced Khartoum for assisting "our arch-enemies" and threatened that "somebody will have to pay a very high price for it".

Uganda becomes part of the global Terrorist Interdiction Programme (TIP) aimed at containing the ability of terrorists to move freely across territorial borders. - Aug 20, AllAfrica.

Al-Qaeda leader may flee to Africa
Britain and the United States are training border guards in the Horn of Africa in the expectation that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, may seek sanctuary there if forced to flee Iraq. - Aug 25, London Times.

Minister: Terror suspects hiding in southern Africa
Individuals with links to al Qaeda and other groups are hiding in southern Africa and could be setting up networks within the region, South Africa's intelligence minister said on Monday. - Aug 29 Reuters via CNN.

Al-Qaeda will retreat to Africa, says US general
A senior US military officer on Wednesday predicted that al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq will move to the "vast ungoverned spaces" of the Horn of Africa once conditions in the country get too tough for them. - Aug 30 Mail & Guardian.

See links to above reports at Miss Mabrouk of Egypt post: Is Al-Qaeda Moving to Africa?
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LRA and its reign of terror in N. Uganda and S. Sudan

In most quarters, the barbaric LRA are viewed as terrorists. British blogger Mick Hartley links to a sad video at Human Rights Watch entitled "Night Commuters: Uganda's Forgotten Children of War" and a photo essay. On these reports and the LRA, Mick writes:
This isn't just an internal Ugandan matter. Ten years back, supposedly in retaliation for the Ugandan government's support for the SPLM [late John Garang's southern Sudan rebel group], the Sudanese regime in Khartoum started supplying the LRA with arms, making them a much more formidable force.

Sudanese backing has dried up, but the struggle goes on. The dilemma for those Ugandan forces battling the LRA is that the child soldiers they face are victims as well. They can't win by force without destroying the people they're meant to be saving ... and all efforts at negotiation have collapsed. After all, how do you negotiate with a group of millenarian cultists?
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Uganda asks Sudan to extend operation areas against LRA

LRA leader Kony has fled to north of Juba on Nisitu-Torit road, reports Xinhua Aug 30:

Following an agreement in 2002, Sudan allowed Ugandan forces to pursue the LRA south of Juba.

But the LRA have now fled across the red line to the north of Juba. "We are not allowed to operate there," said Uganda's President Museveni.

Musevni has asked Bashir to allow military operations against the LRA north of Juba in southern Sudan.

Bashir said the Sudanese army in Juba can operate against Kony there.

Musevni proposes his forces work with the Sudanese army and the SPLA to hunt him.

The LRA have killed over tens of thousands of civilians and displaced over 1.4 million people in their 19-year rebellion in northern Uganda.

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