The American government has asked the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) to delay the final pullout of the two battalions involved in the hunt against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Central African Republic (CAR) until after the US presidential elections in November.
The UPDF 43 and 11 battalions, which had already withdrawn from their forward bases and assembled in Obbo, CAR, were supposed to carry out a final withdrawal late August and move to Nzara in South Sudan before finally returning to Uganda.
But now the UPDF has instead deployed the 41 and 55 battalions to replace the withdrawing battalions, and the recently-deployed troops have already entered South Sudan through Arua, moving to CAR.
This development comes at a time military sources say the Americans want the Ugandan army to delay the planned withdrawal until the end of the year, following concerns that if the UPDF withdraw the LRA and its elusive leader Kony might resume abductions and recruitment of fighters.
At least 100 American Special Forces have been working with UPDF in the hunt against Kony, who is said to be hiding in Southern Darfur.