giovedì, novembre 02, 2006

In Uganda tregua rinnovata.

Con felicità apprendiamo che il governo dell'Uganda e il Lord Resistance Army (LRA)hanno ufficialmente rinnovato la tregua inaugurata lo scorso agosto, e che tecnicamente era terminata pochi giorni fa. Ciò testimonia la volontà delle parti, al di là delle prevedibili difficoltà che si stanno incontrando, di proseguire sulla strada della pace.

Uganda, LRA rebels renew truce in boost for stalled peace talks - JUBA (AFP)

The Ugandan government and rebelLord's Resistance Army on Wednesday renewed a landmark truce,bickering over which had snagged peace talks to end northern Uganda'sbrutal, two-decade war.Both sides hailed the revised and extended cessation of hostilitiesagreement that replaces an August pact that had technically expiredlast month but was still being observed despite accusations ofviolations by each.Under the truce, the rebels have recommitted to gathering at twoneutral sites that they had fled fearing attacks in southern Sudan,where the autonomous regional government is mediating the talks."We signed an agreement to renew the truce this morning," LRAspokesman Godfrey Ayoo told AFP. "It is an encouraging move that willmake us put our soldiers back into the assembly points.""The deal is valid until a comprehensive ceasefire is agreed upon andsigned, but we will always meet to review it," he said.Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for the government delegation at the talks inthe southern Sudanese capital of Juba, said the signing had"rekindled" the peace process to end the 19-year conflict that hasravaged northern Uganda."The whole process has been rekindled," he said. "What we expect nextis the LRA to start assembling, as this will be a positive basis ofwhat we are going to discuss at the peace talks."The truce addresses rebel demands for the withdrawal of Ugandan troopsfrom around one of the two camps -- Owiny-Ki-Bul, near southernSudan's border with Uganda -- by creating a 30-kilometer (18-mile)buffer zone around it."We are comfortable since most of our security concerns wereaddressed," LRA spokesman Ayoo said. "Even though we could not getmost of our demands accepted, it is better than nothing."The truce is hoped to boost the peace talks that had effectively beenstalled since the original accord was signed in late August.The Juba negotiations are seen by many as the best chance to end theconflict that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced sometwo million others.The conflict has raged since 1988, when elusive LRA leader Joseph Konytook leadership of a regional rebellion among northern Uganda's ethnic Acholi minority.END

Questo è invece un articolo interessante anche se un po' specifico sulle divisioni interne agli Acholi, l'etnia che il LRA pretende di rappresentare malgrado li abbia vessati per oltre venti anni.

Ugandan Acholis divided over Juba peace talksTuesday 31 October 2006 04:30.Oct 30, 2006
(KAMPALA) — As talks between the Lords Resistance Armyand the Uganda government stagger on in the South Sudan capital ofJuba, the rift between Acholi in the diaspora and those back home hasonce again come into the spotlight.For the last 20 years that northern Uganda has been ripped apart byconflict, there has always been talk that some Acholis in the diasporahave been backing the rebel force.The appointment of the LRA peace team has been seen to confirm this.Of those appointed by rebel leader Joseph Kony only Crispus AyenaOdongo, a Kampala lawyer stays in Uganda. The rest are from London,Nairobi and the US.On September 31, Acholi members of Parliament led by Chua County MPLivingstone Okello-Okello left for Juba on the invitation of themediator Riek Machar. Okello-Okello said the trip was aimed atbuilding confidence for Kony and his fighters not to abandon thetalks.When the group got to Juba they were hit by the stark realities indifferences in thinking and perspective about events back home by theLRA delegates at the talks."I was shocked, surprised and annoyed when Ms Josephine Apire askedhow many youths we had mobilised to fight President Yoweri Museveni,"Nwoya County MP Simon Oyet said."I told her our mission was peace and not war. I asked her how many ofher children or relatives were living in IDP camps in northern Uganda.She later alleged that we had all been bribed by the government."There was a time when every leader in northern Uganda took anyopportunity to take a swipe at Museveni and his government.But last week as Museveni left for Juba from Gulu Airstrip, Gulu LC5Chairman Norbert Mao, one of Museveni's critics, was hugging andacting as translator for the Vice President Gilbert Bukenya during theinauguration of the Rev. Sabino Ocan Odoki as Auxiliary Bishop of GuluArchdiocese."It is good those who have been backing the LRA have come out to theopen but their biggest problem is that they are still stuck with thepolitics of 1986. They [LRA delegates] seem to think being an exile isa badge of honour," Mao said."If the delegates continue making unrealistic demands, they may leadto the collapse of the talks," Aruu County MP Odonga Otto said.However, Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu believes some of the demandsbeing made by the LRA delegates can be found at any peace negotiation."Some of those unrealistic demands by the LRA people are part andparcel of any negotiations. They could have demanded for theresignation of the President," Otto said.Some northern leaders do not think the unrealistic demands may lead tothe collapse of the talks."The biggest threat to the peace talks is the continued presence ofthe UPDF in South Sudan because this creates a hostile situation thatcan escalate into war. As for the LRA, they should cross the Nile sothat if there is any killings in areas that they have left, then otherarmed groups will be to blame," Mao said.The LRA and the government recently signed a secession of hostilitiesagreement. The LRA were to assemble at Owinyi-ki-Bul. They, however,failed to assemble there claiming the area had UPDF soldiers.In the IDP camps residents are keenly following Juba events."We are praying to God to give us peace. We are now not bothered aboutwho committed which crimes. We just want peace," Mr Cosmas Okello, aresident of Anaka IDP camp, said.Residents want reconciliation between Kony and Museveni.

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