Uganda officially ended its involvement in warfare in the neighboring Congo in 2003 when a transitional government was installed that was meant to end a decade of conflict involving eight African nations and some 25 armed groups in which an estimated four million people died.
While the guns between Uganda and its giant neighbor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, have been silent for four years, clashes between the two countries' armies have broken out again.Tensions began to rise at the end of July when a Congolese unit of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, FARDC, captured four Ugandan marines who had apparently strayed towards the Congolese west bank of Lake Albert.
But on August 1, the situation grew serious. FARDC soldiers patrolling the lake attacked an oil exploration barge belonging to Canada's Heritage Oil Corporation and killed a British seismic engineering survey team leader, 31 year old Carl Nefdt. The Ugandan army retaliated and a Congolese soldier died in the 15 minute shoot out while a Ugandan soldier was wounded.
Since then, tension has been mounting along that part of the Uganda-Congo frontier that runs north-south down the 160 kilometer long lake - although the alignment of the border has never been precisely defined.
Following the discovery of oil in what geologists term the Albertine Basin, beneath the lake, both the Ugandan and Congolese armies have been deploying heavily around the shores, with some observers saying there is now a threat of all-out war.