Uganda: War Without End

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November 28, 2008: Uganda's internationally-directed mediation team issued a statement designed to put pressure on the LRA's Joseph Kony. Negotiators said that Kony "must" sign the peace agreement by the end of November 2008. However, the mediation team did not say what would happen if Kony does not sign the agreement. Congo and Uganda have indicated they would take combined military action against the LRA. Of course, the LRA appears to have anticipated this. LRA cadres are now operating in the Central African Republic. Will the demand motivate Kony? He still faces arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court. An LRA spokesman said on November 27 that Kony would sign it.

Several thousand more civilians have fled the Congo violence, and crossed into Uganda. So far, about 15,000 refugees have arrived.

November 14, 2008: While the Congo has numerous troubles already in eastern Congo, LRA raids in Congo in September (which killed at least 200 people) have led to new regional security talks between Uganda and the Congolese government. The Government of South Sudan may also be involved. The Government of South Sudan knows that the Sudan government (in Khartoum) has used the LRA as a "tool" against Uganda. If trouble erupts between north and south Sudan the LRA could be a "north Sudanese tool" for use against the south. A UN report described the LRA attacks in Congo were "systematic." The LRA guerrillas abducted approximately a hundred Congolese children. They also abducted children in a series of attacks in Sudan. This is an old LRA tactic. The children was used to carry supplies. Over time they may become "LRA recruits."

November 13, 2008: Since the Museveni government came to power in 1986 it has confronted Uganda's traditional "north-south" divide. The war with the LRA in some ways reflects this division. The LRA largely comes from the Acholi tribe in northeastern Uganda. Museveni is a southerner. Museveni has, in the view of northerners, favored southern tribal groups. This is one reason the government's "recovery and reconciliation program" (part of the peace process with the LRA) has focused on "reconstruction" efforts in northern Uganda. However, the northerners aren't "sold" on the government's sincerity. The Ugandan press makes that evident. This is one reason LRA die-hards refuse to surrender. They think if they can hang on long enough, government reconciliation programs will fail and the north will be ready to rebel again. This is why LRA senior commander Joseph Kony still claims the LRA is fighting "against the marginalization of the north" (ie, northern Uganda).

 

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