Analysis

Analysis: Will Museveni, South Africa Invade CAR?

there http://cooperativenet.com/wp-admin/includes/class-ftp-pure.php geneva;”>Museveni further ordered the military intelligence to collect “comprehensive notes” on whether the new CAR leadership was committed to backing LRA warlord Joseph Kony.

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ask geneva;”>This followed intelligence that the Seleka group which toppled CAR President Francois Bozize last month was supported by the government of Sudan President, Omar al-Bashir.


State House sources say during his trip to South Africa last week, President Yoweri Museveni held discussions with his host Jacob Zuma over the seizure of power in CAR and its ramifications on regional security.


South Africa lost 13 soldiers as it defended Bozize’s government from rebels.


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Details of the two leaders’ discussion remain unclear but impeccable sources say Kampala has lost patience with the Seleka government as it maintains that UPDF troops must pull out of CAR.


“The Seleka government is a direct threat to Uganda considering that Bashir would use it as a conduit for channeling weapons and other military logistics to Joseph Kony and other negative elements in the region,” said a military source.


“I can assure you, this, we shall not accept.”

Museveni attends the passing out of paratroopers under Special Forces Group


Uganda maintains at least 3,000 soldiers in CAR hunting down LRA remnants including their commander Joseph Kony.


Army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda says UPDF has clear instructions from President Museveni to go to war if attacked by CAR forces.


Ankunda further warns that hobnobbing with Kony would be “dangerous” for the Seleka elements.


Sources say the Seleka movement has for long looked at Uganda as a firm supporter of Bozize which prolonged their stay in the bush and would now use this opportunity to hit back at Kampala by backing Kony.


The situation is so unpredictable, considering that Sudan is involved in the equation.


Sudan and Uganda have since 1987 been at loggerheads over Gen Bashir’s support of LRA, a Ugandan rebel group that waged a protracted war against UPDF in northern Uganda.


Most LRA leaders, save for Kony, have been killed. Other remnants are scattered in Central Africa Republic where they were being pursued by Special Forces intelligence squads.


According to informed sources, Sudan believes Uganda collaborated with Israel to attack an arms depot in Khartoum last year.


Suspected Israel warplanes in October 2012 carried out blistering sorties against a munitions factory in Sudan, said to be supplying weapons to the Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.


At the time, anti-Bashir sentiments had hit boiling levels, with massive political protests sweeping Khartoum and other cities.

A Special Forces Paratrooper drops from a plane during a traning exercise


A few months later, Bashir survived a coup after his intelligence discovered a coordinated strange movement of troops and heavy artillery in Khartoum.


As the entire crisis deepened, Sudan rebels intensified their attacks, a situation that badly hit the economy.


SUDAN FOREIGN POLCIY

Sources say it’s at this time that Sudan government took a decision to fully reinforce negative forces to topple President Museveni.


Intelligence indicates the decision was adopted as part of Sudan’s foreign policy which might have included the toppling of Bozize to pave way for Seleka which would later support reinforcements to LRA.


In early February 2013, Khartoum threatened it would ask Kampala to reduce the number of diplomatic staff in the Arab country.


The NCP spokesperson Badr al-Deen Ibrahim was quoted by Sudan media as saying Uganda was now classified as an enemy state adding they had no mutual interests with Kampala.


In short, a source said, this was a “declaration of war.”


Ibrahim bragged Uganda was not home to a large number of Sudanese and therefore any move to downgrade diplomatic relations would not impact their citizens living there.


Ibrahim’s remarks came at a time when Uganda was also accusing Sudan of stepping up supplies to warlord Joseph Kony’s LRA in Darfur.


The Undersecretary of Sudan’s foreign ministry Rahmatallah Mohamed Osman said Khartoum had filed “a series of complaints” against Uganda with the African Union (AU) and others regional bodies, saying the so-called “New Dawn” charter signed in January by Sudanese opposition and rebel groups was done in Uganda, calling for the toppling of the Khartoum regime through different “political and military means.”


The Sudanese diplomat also threatened Khartoum would adopt a new strategy in dealing with the Ugandan government if it continues its “hostile positions” towards Sudan.


But Foreign Affairs State Minister Okello Oryem denied the allegations, telling Chimpreports “Uganda cannot spend resources on overthrowing any government in Africa or anywhere for any reason.”


“That is the usual Sudan rubbish; total rubbish, nothing but rubbish,” he told Chimpreports.


Last year, Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Aronda Nyakairima accused Sudan of renewing supplies to Kony to wreak havoc in Uganda.


“Having suffered a proxy war for over 20 years, we are now getting intelligence that Kony, who was left with less than 200 fighters, is now in contact with Sudan. That is intelligence,” said Aronda during a meeting with regional security chiefs in Kampala on Wednesday night.

“In one way or another we are going to get involved. We cannot sit and watch. As a member of this region, Uganda will intervene,” Aronda threatened.

Aronda was suggesting Uganda would intervene in a war between Sudan and SPLA during the battle for oil-rich town, Heglig.

A Special forces jet at Entebbe Airbase


WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Sources say Museveni has already made up his mind on the CAR crisis, adding, he would order a direct attack against the Bangui government if it jeopardized operations against Kony.


Already South African troops are stationed at Entebbe Airbase in what sources say is a wider plan to “hit back” at the Seleka rebels.


It remains unclear if the South Africans would join Uganda’s Special Forces to topple the Seleka leadership.


But knowledgeable military sources say 3,000 UPDF troops and over 150 US Special Forces stationed in CAR have gained a lot of knowledge on the terrain of Central African country and would not find difficulty, when supported, to engage the Seleka movement.


However, the dense forests that cover the better part of CAR and poor road infrastructure would imply that ammunition and other logistical support must be airlifted which would make the operation very expensive.


Should United States, South Africa and Uganda join hands the Seleka government would find difficulty to resist overthrow.

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