Blog Posts for 2008
With the one-year anniversary of the Juba peace talks tomorrow, the Ugandan government spokesman Capt. Ba-Hoku Barigye writes that Juba may be remembered as “the city of peace.” He writes, “And peace indeed and surely seems to be returning to these sub-regions as a result of several of factors…From north and northeastern Uganda stories abound of IDPs returning to their villages, at least up to their parishes, hardships and uncertainties notwithstanding…On the other hand, gallant UPDF and other security agencies report that acts of human rights violations (abductions, murders, rapes, robberies) by the LRA have not been witnessed for about a year.” Read the full article at The Monitor.
With the one-year anniversary of the Juba peace talks tomorrow, The Monitor has published an editorial, which “sticks to the humanitarian view that the matter of IDP return retains primacy.” They write, “In the event, whatever combination is adopted to complement the ICC, so as to avoid condoning impunity, let us keep sight of this fact. And this is why we take a very dim view of the suspected corruption that has already be-devilled the resettlement process.” Read the full editorial at The Monitor.
The Washington Post has written an article about the legal dilemmas surrounding LRA leader Joseph Kony. The article quotes Michael Poffenberger, executive director of Resolve Uganda. The article says Resolve Uganda “has argued for a more traditional form of justice. It would involve Kony and his men admitting responsibility for past crimes, asking for forgiveness and agreeing to pay some form of compensation to victims or their survivors.” However, the article quotes ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo: “As a prosecutor, I want to arrest Kony and his men…His destiny is the dock…There is no conflict between peace and justice. Apprehend them tomorrow, and you have peace and justice on the same day.” Read the full article at The Washington Post.
Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director of Resolve Uganda, is quoted in an article running in today’s Washington Post about efforts to ensure that Joseph Kony, the LRA’s leader, faces justice.
Yesterday, we had the distinct honor of hosting the visit of Rwot David Onen Acana Ithe Paramount Chief of Acholiland, northern Uganda to Washington, D.C.
Throughout the day, Chief Acana was able to carry his message of hope for a peaceful resolution and for greater U.S. involvement in the negotiations to a number of top U.S. officials, including high-ranking representatives from the National Security Council and the US State Department, including Jendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Chief Acana also briefed a number of Congressional offices on developments in the peace talks.
“We were thrilled and honored to have Paramount Chief Acana here in the nation’s capital,” said Resolve Uganda’s Executive Director Michael Poffenberger. “His presence and intercession on behalf of the Acholi people put a human face on both the tragedy of this long war and the enduring hope for peace.”
The visit was part of a rare trip abroad for the Paramount Chief, who is playing a key role in in the Juba peace talks, and comes on the heels of the recent breakthrough in the negotiations.
The LRA has invited about 500 people for a major meeting this month in Ri-Kwangba, their assembly point under the Cessation of Hostilities. The list includes northern Uganda politicians, church leaders, relatives of the LRA top commanders, the rebel sponsors in and outside the country and Ugandans in the Diaspora. LRA peace delegation spokesman Godfrey Ayoo confirmed the meeting in Ri-kwangba but said the delegation has been let down by lack of resources. Read more at The Monitor.
We came upon this short story today by Monica Arak de Nyeko, a young woman originally from the Kitgum district of northern Uganda. The story, entitled Strange Fruit , depicts the conflict in the north in a unique and provocative manner and offers a very human voice to some of what has taken place in the region.
It had us talking in the office today, so we wanted to pass it along to you all! Definitely a worthwhile read!
The Sudan Tribune ran a story today highlighting last month’s efforts to get President Bush to appoint a high level diplomat to represent the U.S. at the peace talks. The article particularly mentions recent activity by the American public to pressure leaders to more actively engage and support the talks.
An excerpt of the article is below, your can click here for the full text .
US Congressmen urge Bush to support Ugandan peace talks
Members of the U.S. Congress have publicly urged President Bush to provide diplomatic support to the ongoing peace talks to end the 21-year war in northern Uganda, Resolve Uganda announced today. 17 members of the Senate and 27 members of the House of Representatives signed and sent a letter to the White House, requesting that the President dispatch a senior diplomat to Juba to act in direct support of the negotiations. “Dispatching a senior U.S. diplomat to the peace talks between the Ugandan Government and the LRA will demonstrate our commitment to bringing peace and stability to the people of northern Uganda,” said Senator Russ Feingold, who led efforts to get support for the letter in the Senate. “A strong U.S. presence will contribute much-needed urgency and legitimacy to these negotiations, which offers a chance to end more than two decades of suffering.”
In particular, the letter to President Bush says that a senior-level U.S. diplomat could better identify strategies to strengthen negotiations. The letter reads: “This individual could convey critical legitimacy on the talks and would provide valuable advice on the ground and information about the U.S. government
In a letter to the Inspector General of the Ugandan Police Force (UPF), Human Rights Watch has called on the UPF to improve civilian policing in northern Uganda. The letter, sent in May of this year, details corruption and inadequate training within the UPF, including instances of police officers demanding payment for services. The report also acknowledges the resource restraints police officers in the north face and efforts by the UPF to improve policing there. Read more at The Monitor or at Human Rights Watch .