(Children in a Military- Human Tragedy/ICC an Obstacle or a Solution).
HOW I SEE IT;
The Conflict is a political power struggle that originates from the following wider African picture:
. Adopting the mistakes and effects created by colonialism
. Consistent disregard and abuse of human rights
. Tolerance of dictatorial regimes by our developemnt partners i.e the donors
. Lack of democracy and good governance in Uganda that makes Uganda the Pearl of Africa remain a conflict striken country.
. The Acholi strong military and spiritual traditions.
The post independence governments in Uganda have inherited divide and rule policy , one of the colonisation mistakes creatated during the geometrical partitioning of Africa in 1884/85 in Berlin respected no boundaries of the African nations that had evolved hundreds of years before . The partitioning disregarded African civilisation: political , socio-economic development that had evolved hundreds of years before and bound together pieces of nations that had no common languages or any intrests to share.
This was done not in the intrest of the African people but for the colonialists to have a grip on controling the colonised .
As if shattering Africas civilisation and nations was not bad enough , the colonial masters introduced a divide and rule policy based on the ethnic diversities in each country : different ethnic groups were developed differently and given roles according to tribes . Hence entrenching the ethnic differences.
African countries still find it difficult to become cohesive nation , to share political power , to distribute resources evenly and equitably as
wells making all the people enjoy equal rights and opportunities because of the effects of colonialism.
The post independence governments of Africa did not correct the colonial mistakes but rather adopted the divide and rule policy in order to atatin or retain political power.The dictatorship , nepotism , tribalism , corruption imbalances in distribution of wealth , injustices and disregard of human rights that most of the African countries have upheld have kept African
countries in conflicts and underdevelopment. No wonder Africa potentialy the richest continent remains the poorest- a big contradiction.
The scramble for Africa s resources , slavery and apertheid continue to be witnessed in African countries in a more modern form and conducted by among others the African leaders and their family members and their henchmen makes
progressive Africans believe that after the direct colonial rule Africa got ruled by white men in black skins or otherwise the Neo-colonialism
The divide and rule, scramble for power and regionaly unbalanced distribution of wealth, rights and opportunities has made Africa remain a conflict stricken continent and Uganda in particular a conflict poverty stricken country where the gap between the rich and the poor is
The rich are dying of too much wealth and the poor are dying of poverty related problems e.g diseases , hunger , stress and in misery as result of war or violence related problems and human rights abuses. The main victims are always the children and the women.
Uganda was in 1889 called the Pearl of Africa by the Winston Churchhill the late British Prime minister because her beutiful flora na fauna , the land scape and plenty of natural resources . In 1970s during the Rein of Terror under Idi Amini Dada Uganda changed her name to the state of blood as described by the British righter Denis Hills in his book “the white pumpkin”.
In this current administration Uganda also acquired the name of the “State of Pain from the Human Rights watch of America”. In short : a country gifted by nature , full of potential , nice people but ruined by civil strife as a result of injustice and disregard of human rights and tolerance.
The Current Conflict in Northern Uganda cannot be unique in this situation and is sustained by the above mentioned factors .
The 20 years Northern Uganda Conflict one of the longest forgotten, neglected human tragedy of the world as “Jan Egeland the out going UN in
charge of humanitarian assistance”.
The conflict has its direct roots in the bush war that was waged by General Yoweri Museveni against the second regime of the late Dr Milton Obote in 1981 -1986.
Uganda held the first mult party elections after the fall of the deceased Dictator Idi Amini Dada in October 1980. Four political parties contested;
the Uganda Peoples congress (UPC) under the leadership of Dr Milton Obote, the Democratic Party (DP) under Dr Kawanga Ssemogerere, the Conservative Party(CP) under Joash Mayanja Nkangi and the Uganda Patriotic movement
(UPM) under General Yoweri Museveni the Incumbent President of Uganda.
The elections were won by the UPC of the late Dr Obote who hailed from the Northern Uganda. The commonwealth observers declared the elections to have been free and fair. But General Yoweri Museveni, who hails from the Southern
Uganda, had participated in arranging the elections and also had contested as a presidential candidate declared the elections rigged.
He took up arms and launched a rebellion against the Elected Government of UPC on 2 Feb 1981. He embarked on the ethnic divide and rule policy to mobilise the people from the central and southern Uganda against the UPC government that he called the government of brutal and demonic creatures from the Northern Uganda.
The collective condemnation, dehumanisation and demonisation of the Northern and far Eastern Ugandans caused the division of Uganda into the two political, social-economic zones the North/South division and the 20 years Political / military conflict and the social economic marginalisation of the people of Northern and Eastern Uganda.
The ethnic campaign took roots and created a strong base where Yoweri Museveni formed the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its military wing the National Resistance Army (NRA) which later was to be re-baptised the
Uganda Peoples Defence Force ( UPDF). The NRM/NRA waged a bloody war against
the UPC government using mainly the tribal sentiments.
The indiscipline that the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) the government forces employed while trying to counter the insurgency include torture, mayhem , panda gali , looting killing of political opponents did not help the situation either. That went along way to justify the NRM campaign and to get more people forced to join the rebellion against the
The 1981-1986 war left close to 500000 people dead, property worth billions of shillings destroyed in the famous Luwero triangle where
the guerrilla war was mainly executed. All parties i.e the UNLA and NRA contributed to the destruction for all parties pulled their triggers and as usual the civilianse got caught up in the war situation.
The Ugandan government troops carry more blame for the atrocities. What ever the UNLA
did was blamed on the Acholi tribe mainly but also to other communities in the Northern Uganda and far Eastern Uganda.
The Real Conflict
General Yoweri Museveni’s collective condemnation of the northern Ugandan
communities explains why the conflict has persisted. In his book Sowing the Mustered Seed General Museveni reveals the hate campaign and collective condemnation against the communities in the Northern Uganda leads us to the main cause of the Northern Uganda Conflict.
Museveni alleges that the northern Ugandan community is the problem. “Social corruption had widely taken root in the region. Under the previous regimes, the soldiers who, most of whom came from the north had been free to loot
Whenever they looted such things, for example corrugated iron roofing sheets, they would take them to their homes, and their parents would not ask them where they obtained them, in spite of the fact that one could easily tell the difference between a new iron sheet and one that had been previously nailed on some one else’s roof . In this way, the whole community in Acholi and Lango had been involved in the plundering of Uganda for themselves.” (Last paragraph on page 177/ 178 sowing the Mustered Seed).
To the northern Ugandan community and all humane people of the world this careless statement and the brutality that accompany it means an extermination policy against the Acoli people , the Langi , inspired and justified their to resistance against extermination. This is one other reason why many circles especially the northern Uganda community justifies claims that General Museveni has conducted genocide campaign against them.
Okello Lutwa overthrew the UPC government in 1985. General Tito Okello extended called all the groups that were fighting the UPC to come out of the bush and form a government of national unity with him.
The General Museveni opted to negotiate with the new regime first and put forward demands. Peace talks were held in Nairobi Kenya 1985 and an agreement to share power was reached only to be broken by General Museveni causing resumption of fighting which ended in the NRM overthrow of the Okello Regime. This behaviour confirms the strong suspicion that General
Yoweri Museveni was for total maginalisation of the northerners.
On 26 Jan 1986 General Yoweri Museveni`s NRA overthrew the General Tito Okello’s Junta. The UNLA soldiers who hailed from the Northern and Eastern Uganda retreated with their weapons to their home villages in northern
Uganda. The Northern Campaign/Conflict
The NRA advance to the north that I happened to lead was swift in capturing the Northern Uganda territory due NRA superiority in political and military strategy, tactics, cohesion and discipline. The UNLA saw no reason to continue fighting after all the population had advised them to join with the new NRM government. The NRA had won the hearts of the population. Some elders and church leaders secured the voluntary surrender of hundreds of UNLA officers and other ranks. By February 1986 Gulu the heart of the Northern Uganda which had been turned into the alternative General
Headquarter for the UNLA was secure and in the hands of the NRA.
Relationship between the NRA and the people of the Northern Uganda remained cordial until changes in the leadership of the NRA in the region that brought in new troops and new leadership.
The new Brigade commander of the NRA troops was arrogant and vengeful. He blamed me for “handling the Acolis with kid gloves.” He also begun the collective condemnation of the Acoli people in the same way they were usually demonised in the campaign against the UPC government and added, “They killed our people and looted our property, why are you handling them with kid gloves”. Every Acoli was labelled a thief, a killer or a rapist including the civilians who had never joined the army and the children that were not yet born during the war in the Luwero triangle. He ordered that all the “looted property be recovered and that all UNLA members be rounded up.
All the former UNLA soldiers that had come out to and surrendered peacefully were herded on trucks and driven southwards to an infamous reorganisation camp in the western Uganda called Kiburara. Several of them jumped of the
speeding trucks on the highway and committed suicide. Most of them have not returned to Gulu and are feared to have been killed. The former soldiers then started hiding themselves instead of coming out to surrender. Arbitrary arrests and crude methods of torture the three piece kandoya invented in the Luwero triangle i.e tying tightly ones arms backwards until the chest in front may burst became the method of work. Because the civilians could not stand the torture they started revealing the where about of the former soldiers. The soldiers found themselves going to the bush with their guns to protect themselves as their relatives continued to be molested killed and humiliated.
This situation provoked them into war against the NRA. It is justifiable for any one else to believe it was self defence out of necessity sparked off the war. It became difficult to convince the population in northern Uganda
that the NRA was not an occupation force sent to exterminate them.
You hear responsible people like Uganda leaders, our ambassadors and members of developed and democratic countries say “Uganda is peaceful country” when millions of Ugandans in the North and far East of the same country are
getting extinct in camps in conditions worse than slaves, wild animals, the jews in the holocaust ever lived in.
Has Uganda ceased to be one country or the northern Uganda is a different country but under occupation of Uganda? No wonder then Jan Egelund the UN representative for humanitarian affairs has described the Northern Uganda Conflict as “the most forgotten, most neglected human catastrophe of the world today”.
Judging from the response the international community has made on the new crisis in Dafur and the old ones in Burundi, the DRC and Somalia one would be inclined to think that because of the hate and demonisation
campaign against the people of the northern Uganda perhaps the world has forsaken them.
All the former UNLA soldiers that had come out to and surrendered peacefully were herded on trucks and driven southwards to an infamous reorganisation camp in the western Uganda called Kiburara.
Several of them jumped of the speeding trucks on the highway and committed suicide. Most of them have not returned to Gulu and are feared to have been killed. The former soldiers then started hiding themselves instead of coming out to surrender.
The NRA troops were deployed to hunt them with little success because they could not easily identify them. They started beating the civilians in order to force them to reveal where their children were hiding.
Arbitrary arrests and crude
methods of torture the three piece kandoya invented in the Luwero triangle i.e tying tightly ones arms backwards until the chest in front may burst became the method of work.
Because the civilians could not stand the torture they started revealing the where about of the former soldiers. The soldiers found themselves going to the bush with their guns to protect themselves as their relatives continued to be molested killed and humiliated. This situation provoked them into war against the NRA.
It is justifiable for me or any one else to believe it was self defence out of necessity. It became
difficult to convince the population in northern Uganda that the NRA was not an occupation force sent to exterminate them.
I and the troops under me , the 15 Batalion tried to prevent the conflict in vain and when the conflict started i tried to advise the government to resolve the conflict politically or use acceptable methods in fighting the insurgency but all in vain because my government refused to be on my side. I remained caught up in between defending the people and my government.
At that time I was being fired at from the front by the insurgents and from the back by my superiors and allies, i couldn’t tell who the enemy was. I could not be of help to the people I had convinced to surrender and join the
government. I saw them being molested and herded on trucks to the Kiburara
prison farm in the southern Uganda where many did not make it back to the North.
I equate this to a similar situation in which Lt. Gen Romeo Dellaire a Canadian commanding a UN peace keeping mission in Rwanda in the 1994 Genocide found himself in and is yet to recover from the trauma.
The difference is that the Genocide in Rwanda is over but the genocide in Northern Uganda is still going on. Ambassador Olara Otunu while receiving his peace award in Sydney and human rights award in India correctly described this situation in the Northern and Eastern Uganda as “Genocide”.
Jan Egeland the outgoing a special representative of the UN Secretary General on humanitarian operations has two definitions of the situation to make after we had made serious lobby and compelled him to go and visit the
perishing children and suffering masses in 2004 “the most forgotten the most neglected human catastrophe in the world”.
Several resistance groups got up in arms against the government; . One Ojuku a former UNLA officer started the resistance group in the Acoli
land in April 1986.
.Alice Lakwena followed formed the Holy Spirit Movement late 1986 1987
. Otema Alimadi formed the Uganda Peoples Democratic Movement and Army 1
(UPDM-UPDA 1) 1987-1988
. Angello Okello formed the UPDM-UPDA 2 1988-1989
. Joeph Kony formed the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) 1991. The LRA was formed of mainly combat hardened children after the adult military professional and politicians had either been killed or had surrendered to the government.
They chose their own leader Joseph Kony who too was an alter boy in the church by the time the rebellion begun.
The dangerous methods the NRM-NRA regime used in fighting the insurgency included;
. Torture in order to extract information and to intimidate and make the population submissive to the NRM Regime.
The rebellion got a lot of support of the local population in the beginning and later the government of the southern Sudan.
One of the methods the government of Uganda employed in order to isolate the rebels and deny them the popular support was the Maoist guerrilla style of “hurt the public and blame it on your opponent”. Covert operations were
arranged by the NRA/UPDF using the kid soldiers captured from the rebels or those that would surrender to the government Army.
The rebels were deployed to go rampaging all over the region unleashing mayhem to the civilians, cutting off lips, hands and killing of the civilians became rampant. Because these kids had been seen serving in the rebel ranks by the population, it was easy for the population to buy the government propaganda that the LRA were terrorising them.
That method helped some how in creating suspicion and a gap between the rebels and the population but also introduced two dangerous phenomena. The population then ceased to join the rebel ranks willingly and abductions and
terrorism became the method of recruitment and sustaining the resistance. Today 95 percent of the LRA are abducted children.
. The scotched earth policy to deny the insurgents food, clean water and any source of income after burning all the granaries, plundering or killing of all the live stock and destroying gardens.
. The soldiers were given licence to loot any movable property since it was deemed to have been stolen from the Luwero Triangle in the South. This became lucrative business for some officers and men who had means to carry
the looted property to distant markets especially in the south. The adverse effects were that corruption was being planted in the ranks of the rather disciplined NRA-UPDF and up to now it is still a menace in the Uganda Army UPDF.
. Dangerous operations like: Operation Fiaka Kufiaka 1986, Operation Sim Sim 1987, Operation White Gold 1987/88, Operation North 1988 /1989, Operation Iron Fist to mention but a few were some of the government campaign against the Insurrection but they turned out to be consistent with operations or crimes against humanity that the people of northern and eastern Uganda shall live to remember.
The war situation created bad surroundings in which the Acoli people have lived for the last 20 years while the government of Uganda is happy and the entire world showing the highest form of neglect. Dr Sverker Finnstrom an anthropologist in the University of Uppsala illustrates it best in his book “Living with Bad Surroundings”
The bad surroundings that turned the children into slaves, kid soldiers and terrorists, the girl children into adolescent mothers, forced wives, slaves combatants and terrorists, men into women (gunga- raping of men).
Where was the people’s army when all this happened? Reverend Father Rodriguez Carlos a catholic priest who has lived with Acoli community in the conflict for over a decade said “Every thing Acoli is dying” i.e the people, the culture, the traditions the human dignity and their property lost and economic infrastructure destroyed:
. 25 000 children were abducted and turned into combatants in the various rebel organisations.
. 10 000 children were conscripted by the government and turned into government troops and militias who are used as human shields by the government troops.
. 7 000 girl children were abducted, raped and subjected to forced marriages and kid mothers taken advantage of by the rebels, government troops and thugs like the cattle rustlers in the region.
. 100 000 children were turned into parentless, homeless who have been wandering between jungles and small townships in search of security, food, shelter and medical care. These were nicknamed the night commuters and the
invisible children. Many found their way to the southern big cities and became street children who live on leftovers from compost pits, have become drug addicts, bandits and have indulged in sexual activities, produced street families whose members are mainly victims of HIV/AIDS.
. So far 500 000 people have been killed in the senseless war.
. 2 000 000 million people were forced to leave their homes and property and live in concentration camps by the government under pretext of offering them security from the rebels. But instead they continue to be massacred in the
very camps and living in humiliation, degradation and desolation while the world is watching.
. 1000 people continue to die of a combination of hunger, curable diseases, despair i.e. committing suicide and the rampant HIV/AIDS related diseases.
A Ugandan journalist Eliasi Biryabarema who visited the camps recently said “not a single explanation on earth can justisfy the sickening human catastrophe”. Where was the international community? The super powers that have solutions to all the problems?
By 1987 international and geopolitical factors begun to exploit and play a role in the rebellion. The government of Uganda had openly supported the rebels fighting against the Sudanese government – the Sudanese Peoples
Liberation Army (SPLA) and those that attempted to fight the government of Kenya- the MwaKenya. The Kenyans and the Sudanese retaliated by supporting the Ugandan rebels. Putting all the supplies they needed at their disposal.
Uganda then started a campaign that it was the Sudan’s Islamic Expansionist policy that was responsible for sparking off the northern Uganda conflict.
This was in order to fit in the USA anti terrorism campaign and gain diplomatic cover and financial assistance as a frontline state against
“terrorism”. This served the government purpose of masking the political conflict between the NRM government and the northern Uganda people. Because of that policy the rest of the world was given a different picture of the
rebellion and perhaps it is one major reason why the international community never reacted with resolve to end the conflict.
The government has used the war to reap diplomatic cover of the human rights violation and political repression. The government and the UPDF officers gained a lot of political and financial capital respectively, out of the war situation; (holding the people of southern Uganda scared that only one man (General Museveni) can keep the war in the north “there” as long as the war is not coming down south he should remain in power to keep Uganda
peaceful. “Their Uganda” Uganda became two in one.
The cronic and endemic corruption thrived best in the war situation and no government officials in influential position had the will to stop the war untill recently when our serious human rights campaign exposed them to the rest of the world. (the ghost soldiers scheme and shoddy deals in purchasing military hard ware)
The Peaceful Resolution of the Conflict Resolution /the Peace Talks.
Many attempts to end the war through a peaceful solution to the conflict have ended in frustration due to lack of the will to stop the war and the different way of intervention by the international community. The 1985 Nairobi failed peace talks and several other attempts have ended finding a new name for peace talk i.e. “peace jokes”.
These are used to crate a lur for both protagonists to prepare the next wave
of battles or to avert pressure from donors.
The on going peace talks in Juba look to be arranged in the same way like the peace jokes of the past;
. The theme of the peace talks has evaded discussion of the masked root causes of the conflict.
. The parliament of Uganda has not been involved to give the legal frame work in which the nation and all the stake holders should get involved in the peace talks.
. The real stake holders i.e. the people of Acoli, the political, civil society of Uganda.
. The talks in Juba have no strong facilitator given the fact that the Southern Sudan’s young government is inferior to the government of Uganda and may be compromised given the real facts on the ground that the SPLA has derives its major military might from the Uganda government and the UPDF.
“The hand that feeds you”.
. The conduct and conditions put forward by the government do not rhyme with negotiations. The government issues instructions and ultimatums rather than seeking negotiated positions.
. The government policy of talking peace on one hand and fighting at the same time (carrot and stick tactics) which made the past peace talks fail is not yet abandoned. They are on the negotiating table and also preparing to
attack the LRA in the plan B General Museveni announced recently.
. The government of Uganda has not swallowed the pride and would like to come out of the talks as the winner or conqueror. In conflict resolution there is no winner or loser.
. The issue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a major hindrance in arriving at a negotiated settlement and the government and all players involved have not made the issue a prerequisite to comprehensive and conclusive peace talks.
. The devastating effects of the conflict i.e the Political, Social Economic marginalisation of northern and eastern Uganda and the plunder of the wealth of the people in the Northern and Far Eastern Uganda should be made a strong point on the agenda of the peace talks.
. The wider picture which is the lack of political reforms that guarantee the building of democratic institutions that offer good governance and mechanism to prevent and solve political and diplomatic problems peacefully
and politically rather than the government preffered militarily solution has not been put on the agenda for the peace talk.
The ICC an Obstacle to Peace:
. The ICC charges are a major obstacle to the full participation of the LRA leaders in the Juba peace talks. The rebel leaders fear the warrant of
arrests that were issued by the ICC .There will be no comprehensive Peace agreement if the top leaders are not part of the negotiations going on.
-The ICC intervention is not yet called for because Uganda has not exhausted all options in the country that can deliver the LRA and all those that committed crimes against humanity to justice as rquired by the ICC Regulations. After all it is not true that only the ICC can deliver Justice and that Justice in this particular conflict means delivering a few individuals to the Hague.
- For instance the MATO OPUT justice and reconciliation formula is more valuable in this conflict and is more tested than the ICC, it is accepted by the LRA rebels , the Victims of the war , the religious leaders , opinion leaders of the region , the opposition and now the government of Uganda .
Perhaps because it is not well documented like many of the African values people tend to downplay its role and values in conflict resolution and deliverly of justice.
- There is also a problem that the ICC will deal with the crimes committed only after its inception in 2002. This conflict started in 1986 and there were more crimes against humanity that were committed by the rebels and the
Government troops between 1986 and 2002 . If justice is to be seen delivered all the suspects must be delivered to justice.
- To implement the ICC proceedure is to break the cease fire, go back to a military operation in order to arrest the LRA Leaders and deliver them to the Hague since they will not hand themselves in willingly.
- There is no guarantee that the military operation will succeed since it has been the option tried against the rebels for the last twenty years. This may create more misery like the operation Iron Fist against the LRA in 2003
did. The UPDF followed the LRA to “finish them from their hide out in the Sudan but the LRA decended back to Uganda and did havoc . The concentration camps increased from 80 to 232 and the number of displaced people rose from
800 000 to 2 5000 000. There is no guarantee that this may not happen again.
- Considering that the LRA is composed of 95% abducted children no military action against these children is justifiable. It is those
remaining children that will be crashed and finished. This option will also mean breaking of the cease fire agreement and the golden chance of a peaceful solution lost. People that have started going out of the camps back to the villages will be most vulnerable since there are no peace keeping troops to guarantee their security in the villages , the government troops
will be engaged in fighting the LRA and have always failed to protect them.
- The renewed fighting will involve more countries than before and threaten the peace in the entire region.
The crisis in the Northern Uganda is a broad political problem whose roots can be traced in:
. the colonial error that introduced divide and rule politics
. The poor post independence leadership of the country which continue to inherit the divide and rule policy in order to acquire or retain power as
individuals or cliques
. Divisive politics of Uganda and in particular the demonisation and marginalisation of the people of Northern Uganda by General Yoweri Museveni since his 1981 struggle for power.
. Lack of functioning democratic institutions and democratic dispensation in Uganda’s governance.
. Dependence on military power to attain and retain power by post independence civilian cum military regimes.
. There are more critical issues in delivery of justice to the people of Northern Uganda than delivering just a few individuals to the Hague e.g
compensation to those victims that were maimed during the war , compensation
of the peoples property like livestock, house hold , burnt houses etc, rehabilitation and reconstruction program of the war ravaged areas and the issue of autonomy(regional federal government) in managing the post war
reconciliation , rehabilitation and reconstruction programs and the land reforms that guarantee ownership of land to the indigenous people.
. There is no way the LRA Leaders will be arrested to face justice in the ICC without breaking the cease fire and resumption to war. Knowing that 95% of the LRA are innocent abducted children the war will cause further
destruction of the remaining children.
Failure to recognise the 20 years conflict as a political one by the international community has not treated the Northern Uganda People and the
human catastrophe in the manner it deserves.
Every other day the people live in concentration camps, children in abduction , uncertainty and desolation is a very painful day and not a
single word on earth can justify why the people of the modern world should be kept in such conditions. Children the main victims who have so far come out of the bush are in their tens of thousands wandering in different townships and cities for shelter, food all the care a child deserves and need emergency attention. Many of them have found their way to cities in the South of the country where they find peace but live on the streets where they die of various causes that include hunger, diseases, drug abuse and aids.
General Yoweri Museveni needs to change his attitude to the people of Northern Uganda, withdraw and refrain from the negative hate campaign as reflected in his book sowing the Mustered Seed and his speeches. He also needs to apologise to the northern Uganda people for failure to protect them and their property through out his entire administration. He should cease to apply divide and rule politics amongst the northern Uganda community in the Diaspora, those in the country and those in the bush.
The government of Uganda should take its responsibility by apologising to the Northern Uganda communities for the hate campaign conducted by the leadership of the country against them , declare the northern Uganda and the entire war ravaged areas a disaster stricken area , agree to compensate the victims that were maimed during the war and compensate the people that lost their property since its the primary role of any government to guarantee
security for lives and property of citizens.
The government of Uganda should accept the Northern and eastern Uganda who wish to form federal states to do so and give them power and autonomy to handle the post war rehabilitation , reconstruction programs in order to avoid diversion and mismanagement of funds that the NURP and Kalamoja Development Funds have experienced. Development and peace go hand in hand.
The international community should apologise for having neglected the people of Uganda by not doing enough to protect them, organise a peace enforcing and peace keeping forces to deliver the people out of concentration camps and enable them to live in their homes.
The international community should realise that the Government of the Southern Sudan is young, is not yet fully independent, its still in a
warlike situation and is still vulnerable to manipulation and black mail.
The international community should take serious the Golden chance offered by the young government South Sudan Government and help to reinforce the on going peace talks in Juba with the legal frame work, professionalism,
mediation and the logistic that the talks deserve before they become the usual peace jokes.
The international community should call a donors conference to raise funds for the eventual compensation , rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war ravaged areas as a way of attending to the critical issues in delivering justice to the people that were neglected for along time and to ensure that peace and conflict resolution will hold .
The scope of the peace talks should be broadened to accommodate all the underlying causes of the conflict and involve all stakeholders in finding a comprehensive and everlasting resolution of the conflict.
The conflict should cease to look at as a simple conflict between LRA terrorists and the Government but a conflict between the marginalised Northern Uganda and the National Resistance Movement Government of Uganda.
The Northern Uganda and eastern regions should be given power to autonomously manage the post war Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and
Reconciliation process through either a well defined federal or government system of their choice. They should be allowed to form federal states that share same culture same interests and destiny.
The International Community , the UN security Council , the ICC should withdraw the Arrest Warrants against the LRA Leaders and give chance to Uganda to utilise all the existing systems of delivering Justice including the traditional African values in conflict resolution and delivery of justice e.g MATO OPUT or the equivalents in the different parts of the region. All institutions and options available in Uganda should be exhausted before the ICC Procedures are employed.
Sweden should immediately facilitate an international conference to rescue the Juba Peace Talks before they completely become the usual Peace Jokes and involve all the stake holders in finding a lasting solution to this
-An Advocate for Human Rights , Democracy , Good Governance and Environmental Protection .
Posted to APN By Ham Mukasa
Published by African Press in Norway, apn, firstname.lastname@example.org tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525