Uganda: Backstory

By Dan Dupont / October 14, 2011 at 7:17 PM

The White House today announced plans to send about 100 troops to Africa as part of an effort to support allies battling Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. first reported U.S. Africa Command's plans to provide security assistance for this effort in late July.

U.S. Africa Command is set to begin a new security assistance program in East Africa that aims to bolster the ability of Uganda's military to fight the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group that for more than 20 years has terrorized civilians.

Congress has lifted a hold it placed earlier this month on a Defense Department proposal to begin a new program to provide Ugandan defense forces with counterterrorism training and equipment, according to Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. James Gregory.

The project, part of a second batch of so-called Section 1206 security assistance programs drawn up by the Defense and State departments, is designed to "provide communications and intelligence training as well as communications and engineering equipment to improve Uganda's ability to remove LRA leadership and fighters from the battlefield," according to Gregory. The project has a price tag of $4.4 million, he said.