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GAMBIA-L  January 2004

GAMBIA-L January 2004

Subject:

***Talk to rebels outside Uganda

From:

uga479 <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The Gambia and related-issues mailing list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 15 Jan 2004 23:34:04 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (91 lines)

"Yet, I have all along been enjoying a belief that for well over a year, Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony has been holding Museveni in Gulu as his [Kony's] Prisoner of War (POW), and had transferred him to Soroti, where Robin White found him."


******
Amusing!



----- Original Message ----- 
From: gook makanga 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 12:41 AM
Subject: Talk to rebels outside Uganda 


Talk to rebels outside Uganda 
By Sev. A Obura 
Jan 15, 2004

      There is logic in the question, is the war in the north a complex political emergency? Your answer, correct or wrong, shall depend on how you see the situation.

      When journalist Robin White of the BBC recently asked President Yoweri Museveni in Soroti: "I see you in the middle of the war zone and you are surrounded by soldiers everywhere, are things that bad?" Museveni simply laughed it off and answered: "There is no war, really".

      Yet, I have all along been enjoying a belief that for well over a year, Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony has been holding Museveni in Gulu as his [Kony's] Prisoner of War (POW), and had transferred him to Soroti, where Robin White found him.

      International academic institutions have made a careful study of this question to find out how the emergency can be used to reform the economic, social and political welfare of the society affected. Three British Universities jointly made me participate in this study.

      It is a well-known fact that the war in the North started immediately after Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA) came to power in January 1986. Up to now, 18 years later, Museveni has completely failed to defeat the rebels, despite the massive amount of taxpayers' money the Movement has pumped in, some pocketed away and some used to buy junk military equipment.

      The LRA have traversed the region, from Gulu, Kitgum and Pader (in Acholi), through Apac and Lira (in Lango), to Kaberamaido, Katakwi and Soroti (in Teso).

      As the rebels comfortably walk about - without the UPDF disrupting their trips - they have committed woe-ful atrocities among the Acholi, the Langi and the Iteso.

      Thousands of people have been killed, injured, abducted or driven into many internally displaced people's (IDP) camps where they are living an inhuman life -completely dehumanised, leave alone people being forced to sleep on the streets in towns or in the bush, to avoid being attacked in their houses at night.

      This conflict has shattered all infrastructure available in these areas, and has destroyed the economic assets so much that the people are left with no capacity to do any economic activities to enable them live a modest life expected of them under normal circumstances.

      Then, after about a decade, another brutal conflict erupted in another part of the country. The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) invaded the Rwenzori region, a stronghold of the Movement, in 1996. The ADF also killed and abducted very many people, and sent thousands into IDPs' camps scattered all over the region.

      Surprisingly, the UPDF suddenly picked up stamina to fight back, and gave the ADF an undisputable technical knock out (TKO) within a short period. This is what makes the war in the North, which is heavily financed by foreign donors, complex. The core of Uganda being at peace keeps international attention unbelievably silent. This denies Uganda the international community's commitment to redress the situation because the war is seen as a mere process to correct internal political failures in the country.

      Having observed that the UPDF has noticeably failed to defeat Kony's LRA, every Ugandan, within and abroad, began crying out loud and clear for peace talks to resolve the conflict. Kony showed a willingness to talk peace. Apparently, he took this decision in good faith, and he appeared serious.

      Unfortunately, the Movement Government mishandled the peace initiative. Reacting in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Museveni dictated where and when the talks must be held within Uganda! Suspecting this as a trick to expose and arrest him, Kony quietly laid off the peace talk idea. This widened the gap between the LRA and the government and it has killed off peace talks being prayed for day and night all over the country.

      I am strongly convinced that peace talks can be successful if held at a neutral venue outside the country. Let me give the following examples to illustrate it:
      *When in 1985 the late Gen. Tito Okello Lutwa invited Museveni for peace talks, the dialogue was quietly held in Nairobi, Kenya.

      *After fighting for 20 years, only two years longer than the war in the North, the Sudan Government and the rebel SPLA are now engaged in very fruitful peace talks in Naivasha, Kenya. As I write, the talks are progressing towards a successful end, as agreements are being signed, one after another, in "joyous moods" as reported by the BBC.

      *The Burundi peace talks, to which President Museveni himself is chairman, have all along been held in Arusha, Tanzania. As of now, the talks are driving to a bright successful end.

      *Last week, President Museveni went to Nairobi, Kenya, to referee the kick-start of the Somali peace talks, which he left progressing well. 

      The analysis I have gone through leads me to raise the following questions:
      *The motives behind the donors' generous funding of this war should be questioned. A serious request should be made to them to divert this money to facilitate peace talks outside the country.

      *Given the inability or failure of the Movement to end the insurgency for a whole 18 years, I cannot see how the country shall avoid a larger scale humanitarian crisis in the future Movement government.

      *Is the northern Uganda emergency too complex for the Movement to manage? If so, what should the Movement do, to draw a viable roadmap for the peace process?

      [log in to unmask]
     


 2004 The Monitor Publications





Gook 

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."- Malcom X 




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