- February 23, 2009
- Resolve Roundup
The Good: Peace talks appear back on track as the LRA negotiating team makes a historic visit to Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.
The Bad: Two humanitarian workers were killed by unidentified gunmen in northern Uganda, adding to reports that crime and banditry are on the rise.
The Ugly: Continued rumors persist over the status and possible death of LRA second-in-command Vincent Otti, raising fears of rebel factionalism.
The Peace Process:
- Members of the LRA negotiating team have arrived in Kampala for a historic first-ever official visit to begin six-week “consultations” across Uganda on the issue of justice and accountability. If all goes smooth, this should put peace talks back on track to resume in Juba in early December.
- Meanwhile, the senior-level LRA commander, Patrick Makasi, who surrendered to UN troops in DR Congo earlier this month, also arrived in Uganda this week to accept amnesty.
- Makasi has confirmed allegations of a rift between LRA top leaders Joseph Kony and Vincent Otti and other commanders. There is increasing worry that LRA factionalism could frustrate the ongoing peace negotiations.
- In addition, rumors and arguments continue over the status of LRA second-in-command Vincent Otti. Earlier this week, the local radio MegaFM reported his death, but the LRA delegation has vociferously denied this claim. Instead, they report that Otti is seriously ill with cholera.
Situation on the Ground:
- Two humanitarian workers were killed this week in northern Uganda in an ambush by unidentified gunmen. Without adequate police or judicial institutions, banditry and crime have been on the rise in war-affected areas.
- A civilian from Uganda’s northeastern Karamoja region was killed by the Ugandan army during a suspected cattle raid in Kitgum district. Karamajong cattle raids in northern Uganda, especially with ongoing instability in both regions, pose another threat to peacebuilding.
- Recognizing the potential for resumed violence between North and South Sudan, the UN Security Council has voted to extend UN peacekeepers (UNMIS) in the region and support implementation of the existing peace agreement.
- A new International Crisis Group report highlights escalating violence in eastern DR Congo’s North Kivu region. They write, “This new crisis results from failures of the Congo peace process on army integration, economic governance and transitional justice.”
- During President Museveni’s visit Tuesday to the White House, President Bush said he wants an end to the war “sooner rather than later” and supports ongoing peace negotiations. Regrettably, President Bush did not use the meeting or press conference to more fully promote the peace process and warn against escalating military rhetoric. Click here to listen to our analysis on Voice of America.
- The ENOUGH Project to end genocide and crimes against humanity has released a new report, saying that LRA leader Joseph Kony must be given three credible choices: (1) accountability (national justice mechanisms), (2) asylum or (3) arrest.
- In advance of the White House visit, we also released our latest policy brief, titled “Give Peace a Chance: Rethinking U.S. Policy Toward Northern Uganda.” The report calls on the U.S. to reaffirm its commitment to ongoing peace negotiations and denounce escalating talk of regional military action.