This morning, I was graced with the presence of a long time friend and comrade, Lyandro Komakech of the Refugee Law Project. We dived straight into an interesting conversation regarding his work over the last months.
Lyandro has been traveling around the country doing research and conflict mapping. He told me of some very interesting findings that might not come as a shock to many of us who have been following the developments in the oil sector and the military politics of Uganda.
Lyandro mentioned the North and the West as the hot spots for potential conflict in the coming years. In regard to the North, there are issues that are arising, especially around land and oil. This land grabbing has been a dominant feature since the LRA conflict was considered over. Oil speculators have run into the area to aquire as much land as they can. The locals are feeling cheated and are ready to fight back since Governemnt is seen to be aiding the land grabbing. Apparently some think they can do a bigger job as compared to the Lord’s Resistance Army who had ‘no real agenda’.
In the West, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are regrouping and at the same time recruiting new members. According to Refugee Law Project findings, there are atleast 5000 rebel camps out there.The rebels who are supported by the government in Khartoum meet in mosques around the region but hard to detect!
This information kind of enlightens my discussions on the Tarehe Sita celebrations. I was wondering as to why the UPDF decided to hold the celebrations in Kasese this time. The fact that there is information on the ADF build up makes a lot of sense now.
If this these preliminary findings are true, I think we need to start mapping out ways of mitigating any conflicts that might arise. People seem to be restless. How long can the government hold on?