- January 13, 2009
- Resolve Roundup
The Good: In an unprecedented show of unity, nearly 100 civil society groups from across northern Uganda have issued a joint declaration, adding momentum and support to ongoing peace talks.
The Ugly: President Museveni continues to ignore war-affected communities as demonstrated by his plan to “industrialize” the north.
- LRA factions loyal to LRA leader Joseph Kony have reportedly clashed with those siding with LRA second-in-command Vincent Otti. The fighting is believed to have followed a disagreement on the future of the Juba peace talks. There have been rumors of a growing rift between the two leaders, but if true, this could threaten the continuity of the Juba peace talks.
- Nearly 100 civil society organizations covering the regions of northern Uganda released a joint declaration this week on agenda item #3 of the Juba peace talks. “Speaking with one voice,” civil society calls for a Special Tribunal, the suspension of ICC indictments, voluntary IDP return, reparations and a Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
- Military officials from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Congo (MONUC) met this week to discuss military plans against Ugandan rebels in eastern DRC. Yet, as we wrote in a Reuters Op/Ed this week, “The current military buildup is unhelpful and runs a high risk of rekindling violence.”
The Situation “On The Ground”:
- On Monday, President Museveni launched a $600 3-year reconstruction plan for northern Uganda that includes aid for roads, education and small-scale industry. This was welcome, but the President also vowed to “industrialize” the north against local fears that such plans will lead to land dispossession and conflicts.
- Though under-reported, the flooding of northern and eastern Uganda has continued to cause devastation. The World Food Programme has been airlifting food, but there are still emergency conditions.
- Meanwhile, violence in northeastern Uganda (Karamoja) has intensified over recent weeks between the Government and civilians. Insecurity in Karamoja often spills over into northern Uganda.
- Sudan’s president Omar el-Bashir has invited northern Ugandan leaders to Khartoum to discuss the prospects of the Juba peace talks. The Sudanese government has reiterated its support for the talks against concern that it might re-support the LRA as a proxy militia against southern Sudan.
- El-Bashir’s invitation comes after growing fears that the fragile North-South peace agreement might collapse. South Sudan’s major party (the SPLM) has suspended its involvement in the national government, claiming Khartoum is violating its obligations to withdraw its troops.
- There is little news out of Washington this week except that President Museveni will visit the White House on October 30th to discuss several issues, including the peace talks. This is a huge opportunity for the U.S. government to emphasize that President Museveni must remain fully committed to the peace talks.
- Finally, this Saturday, thousands of people in over 100 cities in 15 countries will raise their voice for northern Uganda in GuluWalk 2007. There’s still time to sign up!