Blog Posts for 2008
Thanks to Yvette for leading her group’s meeting and for letting us know how it went! Following the meeting, Yvette had this to say: So many people hear about these tragedies taking place and just feel bad.
Thanks to Caitlin for submitting this report on her group’s meeting!
Next week, the United States’ top diplomat for Africa, Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer, will be boarding a plane headed for Uganda. And she needs to know that, while we’re pleased with recent progress, much more should still be done. Most importantly, the newly appointed diplomat must be given the mandate to utilize U.S. leverage to ensure that the negotiations result in lasting peace.
By taking just a minute now, you can help make sure that message is delivered. It’s simple – just click here to send a quick email to the White House and let them know that we won’t stop until peace comes.
Thank you so much, and have a wonderful weekend!
Yesterday, Michael Poffenberger, Resolve Uganda’s Executive Director, was a guest on Volce of America’s internationally broadcast television program, “Straight Talk Africa.” The topic of the program was the role of youth in conflict resolution, and Michael spoke specifically about the growing activism in America, aimed at increasing the international leadership necessary to bring an end to Uganda’s war. “Our generation faces a new opportunity here in the United States. The youth have been the conscious of our country in times of need – from civil rights to the anti-apartheid movement,” Michael said. The key issue here is overcoming the neglect that we’ve seen from our leaders, and youth are an important part of that equation.”
On Tuesday, the UPDF arrested a Congolese army officer, 2nd Lt. Gay Katendi, who is alleged to have illegally crossed into Uganda and robbed traders at Malaba in the new Nyadri district. “He was arrested by our forces with the help of civilians after he and six others harassed and robbed traders,” the UPDF spokesman for West Nile, Lt. Robert Kamara, said. Katendi
The Government has invited observers from the African Union to witness the on-going consultations with LRA war victims and stakeholders. The chief Government negotiator, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda,said yesterday that the invitations had been sent to representatives of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and the DRC. He said the observers were expected to join them in the second phase of the consultations in Teso, which start today. Read more at The New Vision.
Speaking on Voice of America, the LRA’s second-in-command Vincent Otti said it is an error for victims of the rebel insurgency to suggest local courts to try only members of the LRA for alleged war crimes. This follows the Ugandan government’s “consultations” with civil society throughout the northern region of the country. Otti said: “From my side, I do see that what the victims are saying, they do not know who has done this one. If any of that is LRA who has done this one, it is okay because during war you do not know who has done this and that. The victims should be even sometimes the LRA or sometimes the government of Uganda that is the UPDF. If both of us are to face the same trial then that is okay.” Otti further remarked that the LRA needs its own consultations before making any concrete commitments. “The donors have given to the government of Uganda billions of dollars, but the war did not end. But today, as a result of our peace talks now there is peace in northern Uganda, why should they not support us fully? And giving three million (dollars) is enough because what we want is just to bring a lasting peace in our country,” Otti said. Listen to the full interview at Voice of America.
Civil Society Organizations for Peace in Northern Uganda (CSOPNU) has issued a public statement that the Juba peace talks are at “a point of no return.” They write, “Sunday 26 August 2007 marked one year of the landmark Cessation of Hostilities
Agreement (CHA) between the GoU and the LRA that was signed in Juba. Both parties to the peace talks have demonstrated commitment, restraint and flexibility in the interest of peace in Northern Uganda…To ensure that peace and justice are achieved in Northern Uganda all stakeholders have to do everything it takes to avoid returning to the horror Northern Uganda has seen for the last 20 years.” CSOPNU then appeals for the Government of Uganda to press the UN Security Council to invoke Article 16 of the Rome Statute, suspending the ICC warrants for 12 months. They also urge both parties to “take heed of the voices of the victims and all affected groups.”
Ruhakana Rugunda said today that ongoing consultations with northern Ugandans have shown widespread support for the creation of domestic justice mechanisms to try top LRA leaders indicted by the International Criminal Court. Rugunda, the head of the Ugandan government delegation to the Juba talks, commented, “Very many of them felt that Uganda by using traditional and formal justice systems, will provide a sufficient alternative to handle issues of accountability and reconciliation.” The Ugandan government and LRA delegations have been holding consultations on how to address crimes committed during two decades of war after signing a framework agreement on agenda item three of the Juba talks, justice and reconciliation, in late June. Read more at Reuters.