Until recently northern Uganda, the area around Gulu, was involved in a horrible internal conflict with the Lord’s Republican Army (LRA). The rebels were notorious for using child soldiers (do a Google search on Gulu walk). On a trip to Gulu 2 years ago, our group made a short presentation to a large group of former rebels that the government was trying to reprogram. The conference room that we sat in was surrounded by military guards. Luckily, all went well.
On this trip to Uganda, we were advised not to travel to Gulu. Some areas east of Gulu (an area where we had hoped to work) are having an outbreak of the pneumonic plague (lung variety, airborne), with those contracting the disease having a high mortality rate. The CDC and WHO both aparently have travel advisories out for the region.
In February of next year, Southern Sudan which abuts northern Uganda, is holding a referendum on independence from Sudan. It is projected that Southern Sudan will vote for independence. Because the area is oil rich, there is fear that such an election result might precipitate a war. This could cause refugees to pour into northern Uganda.
Northern Uganda (and southern Sudan) could use a break.