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Uganda: Information on a rebel group called the Uganda People (People's) Democratic Army (UPDA) and its activities during the period 1988 to 1990, and on the extent of its human rights violations

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 February 1996
Citation / Document Symbol UGA22968.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Uganda: Information on a rebel group called the Uganda People (People's) Democratic Army (UPDA) and its activities during the period 1988 to 1990, and on the extent of its human rights violations, 1 February 1996, UGA22968.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6acc530.html [accessed 25 July 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

According to Amnesty International's Uganda: The Human Rights Record 1986-1989,

the Uganda People's Democratic Movement/Uganda People's Democratic Army (UPDM/UPDA) was mainly Acholi-based, involving former UNLA soldiers and led from Nairobi and London by former ministers in the Obote and Okello governments. ... In April 1988 the government concluded a peace agreement with the bulk of the UPDA leadership within Uganda. However, the exile's leadership and some of the UPDA guerrillas rejected this agreement and many allied themselves with Joseph Kony's Holy Spirit movement (Mar. 1989, 25).

Referring to government negotiations with rebel groups, Uganda at the Crossroads A Report on the Current Human Rights Conditions states that in 1988 the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government

entered into a peace treaty with certain factions of the UPDA. Another faction of the UPDA signed a peace accord two years later. As a result of these negotiations and treaties, between 5,000 and 10,000 UPA members and several thousand UPDA soldiers surrendered and received amnesty (Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Committee on International Human Rights, 1991, 28-29).

 In its assessment of Ugandan rebel groups, Africa Confidential categorizes the UPDA as a rebel organization formed by "ex-soldiers with 'a semblance of discipline'" (8 July 1987, 6). The source states that the UPDA headquarters is located in southern Sudan and that most of its fighters, who are referred to as "ex-army fighters," "would dissociate themselves from the group led by Alice Lakwena" (ibid.). The source adds that

according to reports, these 'serious' rebels have arrested, even executed, some rebels they see as thugs in an attempt to restore a reputation for good discipline (ibid.).

In another article, Africa Confidential states that

several thousand men of the northern rebel Uganda People's Democratic Army (UPDA), led by Lt.-Col. John Angello Okello, have been integrated into the NRA [government's National Resistance Army] since the NRA-UPDA peace agreement this May [1988] (23 Sept. 1988, 6).

The attached December 1990 Amnesty International report entitled Uganda: Death in the Countryside: Killings of Civilians by the Army in 1990, attached sections of Uganda at the Crossroad A Report on the Current Human Rights Conditions, and Amnesty International's Uganda: The Human Rights Record 1986-1989, provide information on human rights violations during the period 1988-1990.

The attached AFP and Xinhua articles provide information on the UPDA in 1990.

Amnesty International Report for 1989 to 1991, which are available at Regional Documentation Centres, provide additional information on human rights violations during the period 1988 to 1990.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

        Amnesty International. March 1989. Uganda: The Human Rights Record 1986-1989. (AI Index: AFR 59/01/89). New York: Amnesty International.

Africa Confidential [London]. 23 September 1988. Vol. 29, No. 19. "Uganda: Museveni and His Men."

_____. 8 July 1987. Vol. 28, No. 14. "Uganda: Military Solution."

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Committee on International Human Rights. 1991. Uganda at the Crossroads - A Report on the Current Human Rights Conditions, pp. 25-40.

Attachments

        Agence France Presse (AFP) [Kampala, in English]. 27 July 1990. "Uganda Government Facing Growing Rebel Activities in Soroti District." (BBC Summary 31 July 1990/NEXIS)

_____. 25 April 1990. "East and Horn of Africa in Brief; Uganda: Three Senior Rebel Commanders Reported Killed." (BBC Summary 28 Apr. 1990/NEXIS)

_____. 2 February 1990. "East and Horn of Africa in Brief; Ugandan Coup Suspect Shot, Others 'in Hiding'." (BBC Summary 7 Feb. 1990/NEXIS)

_____. 27 January 1990. "East and Horn of Africa in Brief; Uganda Newspaper Reports on Rebel Attacks in North." (BBC Summary 2 Feb. 1990/NEXIS)

Amnesty International. December 1990. Uganda: Death in the Countryside: Killings of Civilians by the Army in 1990. (AI Index: 59/15/90). London: Amnesty International, pp. 1-8.

_____. March 1989. Uganda: The Human Rights Record 1986-1989. (AI Index: AFR 59/01/89). New York: Amnesty International, pp. 14-16, 24-39.

Africa Confidential [London]. 23 September 1988. Vol. 29, No. 19. "Uganda: Museveni and His Men," pp. 5-7.

_____. 8 July 1987. Vol. 28, No. 14. "Uganda: Military Solution," pp. 6-7.

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Committee on International Human Rights. 1991. Uganda at the Crossroads A Report on the Current Human Rights Conditions, pp. 25-40.

Radio Uganda [Kampala, in English]. 17 August 1990. "East Africa in Brief; Uganda: UPDM Rebel Leader to Return from Exile." (BBC Summary 18 Aug. 1990/NEXIS)

The Xinhua General Overseas News Service. 19 June 1990. "Ugandan Government, Rebel Movement Have Peace Talks." (NEXIS)

_____. 11 May 1990. "3,400 POWs Released in Uganda Since." (NEXIS)

_____. 11 April 1990. "Rebels Kill 43 People in North Uganda." (NEXIS)

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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