Uganda: Trust


January24, 2007: LRA commander Joseph Kony has apparently agreed to continue the peace negotiating process with the Ugandan government. However, Kony believes that the International Criminal Court warrants for his arrest (issued in 2005) restrict his ability to negotiate. The international warrant certainly limits Kony's ability to go to Kenya, where in all likelihood he would be arrested.

January 21, 2007: The LRA issued a statement that said it will not continue to participate in the peace talks in Sudan with Uganda. The statement criticized Sudan's Riek Machar (the peace talks mediator) and said that Sudan was no longer a "suitable" venue for the peace talks. The LRA's distrust of the Sudan government has increased in recent weeks, after Sudan accused LRA fighters of participating in ambushes in south Sudan. The LRA, however, did indicate that it would continue the peace process with the Ugandan government but would only do so outside of Sudan. Needless to say, the LRA position greatly complicates the peace process because the LRA demobilization sites are located in south Sudan. Kenya, Rwanda, and even the Congo could serve as venues for continuing negotiations. On January 12 an LRA spokesman said that the LRA would support talks in Kenya. It is possible that northern Uganda itself could serve as a demobilization site, but the LRA distrusts the Ugandan Army. Sudan said that it would guarantee the LRA fighters safety inside the demobilization sites. Look for this discussion to continue.

January 19, 2007: The Ugandan government said the majority party had approved the government's plan to send a peacekeeping battalion to Somalia. The "straw vote" by members of the National Resistance Movement parliamentary caucus means that it is all but certain that the Ugandan parliament will approve the deployment. Ugandan is considering increasing the size of the troop contingent to 1500 troops. The original proposal called for a 1000-man battalion task force.

January 17, 2007: The LRA announced that its deputy commander, Vincent Otti, had left Sudan and returned to the LRA's base "inside Congo" (ie, the Garamba National Park area). Ugandan sources in northern Uganda also reported that several groups of LRA rebels had returned to northern Uganda from Sudan.




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