Uganda: War Or Peace?

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[International: Uganda’s Shaky Peace Talks]

Editor’s Note: Since the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony did not appear at an April signing ceremony to conclude a peace deal with the Uganda government to end 22 years of war, Observers have wondered what path the shaky negotiations would veer towards. Both sides have issued belligerent statements in recent weeks. Moreover, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted five LRA commanders on war crimes charges, including Kony, who has said he will not sign a deal so long as the warrants stand; some of the indicted leaders have reportedly been killed over the past four years either in combat with the Ugandan army or in conflict within the LRA leadership. After the arrest last week of the notorious ex-Congolese warlord, Jean Pierre Bemba, who was once backed by Uganda, the ICC reiterated its determination to arrest the LRA leadership. The ICC also is investigating alleged crimes against humanity committed by Uganda's army and allied militias, including Bemba's, when Uganda occupied eastern Congo, according to The Wall Street Journal. Most politicians from the war-devastated areas in northern Uganda, traditional leaders, and the suffering civilians, have been urging both sides not to resume fighting and to conclude a peace deal. Below is a press release issued today by the LRA and signed by “Alex Oloya, LRA peace coordinator.”

The LRA believes and argues that Uganda government deliberately and systematically  terrorized, expelled into concentration camps, caused several deaths, and murdered an entire Acholi population and that this peace process must be met decisively with all necessary means in order to produce tangible agreements.

The LRA reminds Ugandans and Acholis that, the 22 years was politicized in which mass killings of victims are defined primarily in terms of their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant groups. It thus therefore demands a robust and meaningful negotiated resolve to the conflict.

Several Months to date after the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Uganda government launched peace talks in Juba to end the country’s 22-years civil war; it was in good faith for peace and development of Uganda.

Our aims and objectives have been to bring peace to Uganda in which all its inhabitants are free, equal, guaranteed human rights for all.

[] To ensure every citizen of Uganda enjoys respect, protection, security and defense as an individual right enshrined in a constitutional Republic.

[] To plan the economic development of Uganda relevant to the people and able to foster a dynamic market, free competitive economy and equipped to prosper in a global integrated economic system of technological change without hindering prosperity of an individual.

[] We want to ensure that Acholi and the nation are skilful in the use and management of land for the production. To ensure the re-establishment and preservation of true democracy.

The Acholi and religious leaders must understand that there is a program initiated by the government of Uganda to conduct proxy war with a pretext of causing maximum retribution and mass execution of the Acholi people to ensure their dream of 100 years in government.

Ugandans at large must understand that whereas every effort has been given to seek peace, the government of Uganda continues to play proxy games in which America has been duped into believing that Sudan was an enemy of Uganda.

The world must note that, Museveni can lobby America to bomb Kony or LRA but that cannot bomb the crimes committed by Museveni and his cronies from the people of north and eastern Uganda and this marks a warning to anybody whom is seeking any kind of military adventure or aggression on Acholi, Madi, Iteso, Lango, Buganda or LRA; we are a people.

We refute the allegation perpetuated by the FDC’s Mr. Ogenya Latigo (NRM), RDC Walter Ochora in which they accuse the exiled individuals in the Diaspora as the spoilers of peace talks.

We inform the entire peace loving nations that, the Government of Uganda just before the FPA (final peace agreement) initiated a new wave of PR in Europe aimed at lobbying for war against the LRA and Acholi. The Public relations were designed to discredit the negotiations and where carried out through NGOs, church leaders, MPs, and business investors to influence the western governments.

(1). The signed agreements where never presented to the exiled Acholi members in the Diaspora. The LRA delegates failed to explain to the LRA leaders and Ugandans what had been signed because it bore the hall marks of a bogus and useless piece paper.

(2). ICC indictment of LRA leaders was illegal. The entire Acholi population knows beyond doubt that Mr. Ocampo has indeed sealed any future investigation of the Ugandan army for its alleged part in the commission of atrocities in Northern Uganda. UN has concealed the genocide committed by Museveni and his cronies--backed him all the way to this moment.

(3). The Uganda government made sure that it infiltrated the ranks of negotiators and derailed the talks in order to urge the international response to attack and destroy Acholi people. It also made sure that all demands made by the LRA were rubbished and rendered as non negotiable.

(4). “I have never and will never send a delegation of the [ruling] NRM party to talk with Kony” said president Museveni at May Day celebrations (1/05/2008).

(5) The bear fact is that Museveni is afraid of the men and women in the Diaspora and he believes they pose a threat to his Government.

The LRA/M assures the people of Uganda of total commitment to negotiated peace settlement, and is eager to get back to the negotiating table with new team to begin meaningful talks based on clear definition to resolve the conflict.
Our battle forces continue to uphold and observe Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. We are dedicated to the purpose of helping to rebuild Uganda on the sure foundations on which her greatness rests.


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