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Africa, US embassy cables

us embassy cables – consult us on your war crimes Uganda

Guardian: Jerry Lanier, the US ambassador to Kampala, reported on 16 December to Washington that the country’s defence minister, Crispus Kiyonga, had verbally assured him that American intelligence was being used “in compliance with Ugandan law and the law of armed conflict. This pledge includes the principles of proportionality, distinction and humane treatment of captured combatants.”

But Lanier continued: “Uganda understands the need to consult with the US in advance if the [Ugandan army] intends to use US-supplied intelligence to engage in operations not government [sic] by the law of armed conflict. Uganda understands and acknowledges that misuse of this intelligence could cause the US to end this intelligence sharing relationship.”

Nowhere, though, does it appear that the ambassador directly told the Ugandans to observe the rules of war.

The following day the embassy reported that a captured colonel, Peter Oloya, held in prison in Gulu, had been shot on the orders of Colonel Charles Otema, the head of military intelligence in northern Uganda who was virtually running the war. Otema is reported to have been in daily contact with Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni.

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