Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
The Uganda Peace Process
06 December 2006
RESCUE AND STREAMLINE THE UGANDA PEACE PROCESS
- The Uganda Peoples Congress calls upon the Government of Uganda and the Lords Resistance Army to immediately resume the peace negotiations in order to end the 20year carnage. The stalled peace process is not only a national concern but international as well.
- Uganda Peoples Congress welcomes the appointment of former President of Mozambique - Mr. Joaquim Chissano as UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to end the 2 decade war that have ravaged and marginalised Northern, north east and Eastern Uganda. The Party is most grateful to the outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for extending Chissano's mandate to use the on-going Uganda government - LRA Peace Talks to help reach a comprehensive political settlement to the Northern, north eastern and Eastern Uganda conflict.
- UPC also welcomes Chissano's mandate to work with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, whose warrants of arrests against five LRA commanders, is a great impediment in the search for a peaceful settlement of the Northern conflict.Mr.Chissano's appointment comes at a time when the ICC is demanding for the update on the progress of the talks between the Ugandan Government and the LRA.
- We would like to urge the UN Special Envoy to closely work with the Ugandan Government who has been issuing contradictory statements regarding its position on the ICC. At one point President Museveni offered blanket amnesty and asked the court to withdraw the arrest warrants. At another point, he requested the court to execute the warrant of arrest. The Ugandan Government has spoken to the ICC verbally and have never officially committed itself in writing to the ICC for the withdrawal of the arrest warrants. UPC urges the Government of Uganda to unequivocally commit itself in writing to the ICC that it wants the warrant of arrest withdrawn in order to reinvigorate the peace process.
- UPC recognizes that the LRA conflict transcends the regional politics of DRC, Southern Sudan and East Africa . In our earlier statement we urged the federating countries of East Africa to take interest in the peace process. Now that the conflict has been internationalized by the appointment of UN Special Envoy to resolve the conflict, the framework for negotiation should be handled through Inter Governmental Authority and Development Organization (IGAD) which Uganda is a party. This will provide the necessary incentive for other countries within the African Union like South Africa who have been actively involve in resolving the continent's conflict, to participate as co-mediators or observers with technical experience.
- The involvement of IGAD, therefore, will ensure a more comprehensive approach to the peace process and the attainment of peace in Uganda. When President Museveni was the Chairman of IGAD, he presided over the peace process in Burundi, Somalia and witnessed the historical signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan Peoples Liberation Army and The Government of Sudan.
- The UPC condemns the alleged recent killing of 3 LRA soldiers by UPDF that stalled the peace process. This was a blatant breach of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement arrived at on August 26, and which is re-enforced in Addendum 1 of the same Agreement. To avoid any further belligerent acts of hostilities and clashes by the 2 parties that may torpedo the on-going Peace Process, UPC calls on the International Community to ask Government of Uganda to withdraw its forces from the entire east of river Nile in Southern Sudan and that Government of Uganda discloses any new locations / positions occupied by UPDF in Southern Sudan. The UPC also calls on LRA to assemble at the 2 assembly areas as soon as possible upon proof of the provisions of security, logistical and service support at the assembly areas as provided for in Addendum 1 of Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
- The UPDF and LRA should note that, they are foreign forces on a foreign and sovereign soil. The lesson drawn from the 1998 involvement of foreign forces from Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe , Angola and Namibia in the Democratic Republic of Congo that resulted in the death of about 4million Congolese must not be repeated in Southern Sudan. UPDF has no business in Southern Sudan since LRA has no established camps of their own inside Southern Sudan that may attract operations similar to Operation Iron Fist.
- Finally UPC calls upon the Ugandan Government to take this talk seriously and use it as a gateway to resolution of national crisis. The purpose of the talks should not be to provide a soft landing for Gen. Joseph Kony and his LRA as President Museveni and his spin doctors have been propagating but rather to yield a long lasting peace not only in Northern and Eastern part of Uganda but the entire nation. Already in Acholi, the land question has become a contentious issue which is a recipe for another potential conflict. Therefore as the conflict comes to an end, the Government should involve all stake holders, in particular the political parties in the peace process so that we can tackle other secondary aspects of the conflict jointly like the land question which has become a national problem.
Mama Miria Kalule Obote
President, Uganda Peoples Congress