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Five killed in volatile, mineral-rich northeast Uganda
by AFP Staff Writers
Kampala (AFP) March 23, 2022

Three Ugandan government officials, including one of the country's top geologists, and their two military escorts were killed in a remote, mineral-rich region bordering South Sudan and Kenya, officials said Wednesday.

They came under attack on Monday during a mineral mapping exercise in Karamoja, an impoverished and volatile region in the country's northeast, said army commander Brigadier-General Joseph Balikuddembe.

The officials -- all from the mineral and energy ministry -- had travelled 490 kilometres (300 miles) from the capital Kampala to Moroto district.

"Their translator tried to explain to the armed warriors about their mission in the area but the warriors, probably out of lack of information opened fire, killing all the five in cold blood," Balikuddembe told AFP.

The translator escaped, he added.

Karamoja -- a sparsely populated and underdeveloped region -- has been wracked for decades by insecurity due to tit-for-tat armed cattle raids between clans.

With a porous border and thriving illicit trade, the Karimojong nomadic communities have staged several often-fatal road ambushes and robberies in the lawless region.

General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, son of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and the commander of its land forces, vowed retribution over Monday's attack.

"My Karimojong brothers! We have begged you to stop the life of robbery and violence. We have begged you to stop attacking your neighbours at no avail," Kainerugaba said on Twitter on Wednesday.

"Well, now we are coming, and hell is coming with us."

The government has in the past conducted several security operations to retrieve illegal firearms from the community.

Some 170 illegal guns and more than 15,000 stolen cattle have been recovered since July last year, according to government figures.

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Sweden gives go-ahead for controversial mining project
Stockholm (AFP) March 22, 2022
Sweden's government on Tuesday gave its go-ahead for a controversial mining project in the country's far north, sparking ire from activists who argue it would harm the environment and the indigenous Sami people. Jokkmokk Iron Mines, a British-owned company that filed an application for the Kallak mine in 2013, is eyeing Sweden's largest-known cache of untapped quartz-banded iron ore as well as rare earth minerals. The company still has to win approval from a Swedish environmental court, and the ... read more

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