| KAMPALA, July 8
KAMPALA, July 8 Uganda's president said on
Tuesday that deadly attacks on its security forces near its new
oil fields in the west were sparked by a power tussle between
local tribes, apparently ruling out Islamists who were once
Gunmen on Saturday attacked police stations and a military
barracks across three districts in Uganda's Rwenzori region
along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
killing 17 people including policemen and soldiers.
The security forces said they responded by killing more than
60 attackers and had deployed extra troops to restore security
in the area near oil fields where Uganda aims to start
commercial crude production by about 2017.
In his statement, Museveni attributed the violence to a
long-running tussle involving the Bakonzo, the dominant tribe in
the Rwenzori region, and another tribe over who was their tribal
monarch. Tribal monarchs have ceremonial powers in Uganda.
"It seems some groups hatched this criminal scheme that has
caused the death of so many people," he said.
However, Museveni did not clearly explain why attackers hit
Ugandan security forces as a result of the row. He also made no
mention of the Islamist rebel group ADF-NALU in the statement.
ADF-NALU waged an insurgency against the Ugandan government
in the late 1990s and 2000s in the same area where the latest
attacks occurred. It was eventually driven away and fled to
bases in the loosely governed eastern region of Congo next door.
Ugandan officials have privately voiced worries that a
resurgent ADF-NALU would pose a threat to its oil fields in the
Albertine rift basin, where Tullow Oil, Total
and China's CNOOC are operating.
Museveni criticised the intelligence services for failing to
prevent the attacks and said the gunmen had wanted to overrun a
Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) barracks but were thwarted.
"How did these people weave such a scheme without being
pre-empted?" he said. "However, their main effort, which was to
enter the camp of 39BN (army battalion) was decisively
(Editing by Edmund Blair and Hugh Lawson)