I’m currently traveling in Uganda. I do it because I enjoy the country, Ugandans are very friendly and there are nice things to see and do.
The country, however, is surrounded by trouble. Things in eastern Congo (DRC, located along Uganda’s western border) seem to be in constant turmoil. Right now, rebels have captured several cities near the Ugandan/Rwandan border and are allegedly headed for Goma, a large commercial center in eastern Congo. Refugees have been moving across the border into Uganda to avoid the fighting. Troops from the DRC and UN have been mobilizing to protect Goma. Uganda has requested that the UN consider the issue.
On Uganda’s northern border is South Sudan (SS), the world’s newest country (created with the support of the US). SS, which just celebrated its 1-year anniversary, is beset with tribal conflicts and is fighting with its northern neighbor Sudan. The conflict is over an oil-rich area along the two countries shared (but disputed) border. One can’t help but wonder if the problems of SS will spill over into Uganda.
Northern Kenya, on Uganda’s eastern border, has had recent religious violence. Two Christian churches were recently attacked, with several Christians killed. Fortunately, it appears that Muslims have rallied to help protect Christian churches in the area.
The US, in a strange move, has deployed to 100 troops (or advisers) to the Ugandan area to look for the particularly obnoxious leader of a rebel group called the Lord Resistance Army. The group, which used to terrorize northern Uganda, is now thought to be largely hiding in the mountains of SS and the Congo. The number two leader of the LRA was recently captured.
Through it all, things in Uganda appear to be fairly normal, or what passes for normal in east-central Africa.