venerdì, febbraio 23, 2007

Difficoltà del processo di pace per il Nord Uganda.

Il processo di pace per il Nord Uganda, avviato nel maggio 2006 su iniziativa del governo autonomo del Sud Sudan - in particolare del vicepresidente Riak Machar - è attualmente in una fase di stallo, dalla quale potrà riprendersi solo quando la cosiddetta "comunità internazionale" eciderà di svegliarsi e di sostenere attivamente un processo di pace che ha buone possibilità di porre termine ad una guerra iniziata nel 1986 e contraddistinta da atrocità efferate.

L'attuale punto morto è dovuo al rigetto, da parte del Lord Resistance Army (LRA), della mediazione di Riak Machar, cui fa seguito la richiesta di spostare i colloqui dall'attuale sede di Juba ad un'altra città dell'Africa orientale.

Il LRA ha preso la decisione di ritirarsi dai colloqui dopo che il presidente del Sudan Omar al Bashir, che per anni ha sostenuto il movimento di guerriglia nord ugandese, ha dichiarato che qualora i colloqui non andassero a buon fine sarà lui a "sbarazzarsi del LRA".

Pochi giorni fa, Riak Machar ha dichiarato che il LRA era pronto a tornare al tavolo delle trattative a Juba, ma la sua esternazione è stata poco dopo smentita da un comunicato ufficiale della guerriglia nord ugandese. Ciò che è più preoccupante, è che Vincent Otti, comandante militare del LRA e sempre più leader del movimento (a quanto pare il leader Joseph Kony è gravemente malato), ha dichiarato che il LRA non è pronto a rinnovare la tregua siglata a settembre, che scadrà il 28 febbraio. C'è quindi il rischio di una ripresa degli scontri armati, che farebbero nuovamente precipitare la situazione.

Di seguito trovate due articoli con la cronaca delle ultime settimane.


Uganda rebels to return to talks - mediator

Feb 20, 2007 (JUBA)


Representatives of Ugandan guerrillas in peacetalks with the government will meet south Sudanese mediators in a bidto restart faltering negotiations stalled by a rebel walk-out, the topmediator said on Tuesday.Last month, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) delegates quit talks thatbegan in the South Sudanese capital Juba in July, saying they fearedfor their safety after Sudanese President Hassan Omar al-Bashir vowedto "get rid of the LRA from Sudan".They had called for another venue to be found outside Sudan. But onTuesday, the chief mediator, south Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar,said he had been given assurances the guerrilla group'srepresentatives would come back."There were differences between those (LRA rebels) who supportedcoming back to the talks and those who did not. Now they havereunited," Machar told Reuters.Two decades of civil war between the LRA and Uganda's military havekilled tens of thousands of people and displaced some 1.7 million morein northern Uganda.Most LRA fighters are in neighbouring southern Sudan, but the topleadership — who are wanted by the International Criminal Court in TheHague — remained hidden in the dense forests of eastern DemocraticRepublic of the Congo."After they (the LRA delegates) arrive I am planning to travel ...with them to meet the (LRA) leaders and set a schedule for theresumption of the talks," Machar said.LRA delegates were not immediately available for comment, and Machardid not say when they would arrive in Juba.A truce signed in August and renewed in December is due to expire atthe end of this month. Many in northern Uganda are apprehensive aboutwhat could happen if it is not extended, though Uganda has ruled outlaunching attacks on the rebels.Under the landmark ceasefire, LRA fighters were given until the end ofJanuary to assemble in two places in south Sudan.But both sides accused each other of violations.The LRA accuses Ugandan troops — who maintain a presence in southernSudan under a deal with Bashir — of ambushing them.Sudanese officials have meanwhile grown increasingly impatient withthe rebels, and have blamed them for a string of fatal attacks oncivilians near Juba.Aid agencies fear if the LRA re-enter northern Uganda they could startattacking civilians and abducting children again, bringing misery toan already war-weary region.

(Reuters) (ST online)


LRA Refuse to Renew Ceasefire Agreement

The Monitor (Kampala) NEWSFebruary 23, 2007

Paul Harera Sebikali & Yasiin Mugerwa

LORD'S Resistance Army rebels have said they would not endorse an extension of a fragile truce with the government that expires on February 28, further dashing hopes of reviving the stalled peace talks.
The rebels also announced Thursday they had left the two assembly points in South Sudan set up under the August 2006 agreement because they feared for their safety.
Speaking to Daily Monitor, LRA deputy commander Vincent Otti said Wednesday afternoon that since the rebels had signed the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement six months ago and renewed it December, they have not seen any tangible benefits.
"That Cessation of Hostilities Agreement is hopeless and not useful to us at the moment because nothing has come out of it, so there is no use of renewing it," he said by telephone.
Otti's announcement came hours before Ruhakana Rugunda, the leader of the government negotiation team, told Parliament on Wednesday that Kampala was ready to review the accord ahead of the expiration of the February deadline.
"There is no deadline to the cessation of hostilities as such. The end of February ceasefire deadline is meant to show the government commitment to a peace process.
We therefore invite LRA to come and meet so that we agree to extend the deadline," Dr Rugunda, the Minister of Internal Affairs, told the House on Wednesday. He was responding to Pokot MP Francis Kiyonga, who had demanded to know how the government planned to revive and sustain the peace talks with LRA.
No deal
Otti however, said that without a change of venue and mediator, there is no deal. He said nothing could make the rebels feel part of the peace process if the venue and mediator remain the same.
Asked about the Army's claims that he and his commander Joseph Kony had relocated from their base in Garamba Forest in extreme northeastern DR Congo to the Central African Republic, Otti replied, "From myself (sic) I know where I am and am not surprised about what the government is saying because they are following us, and even then I can not reveal where I am."
Otti said that he, together with LRA forces are somewhere not on Sudanese or Congolese soil.
Meanwhile, LRA spokesman Godfrey Ayoo said in Nairobi that the rebels would never resume negotiations in South Sudan's capital Juba, despite claims by the chief mediator, South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar, that they were due to do so this week.
The truce renewed in December gave the rebels until last month to gather in two sites in South Sudan -- Owiny-Ki-Bul, on the Uganda border and Ri-Kwangba, on the DR Congo border. It expires on February 28.
Ayoo told Reuters yesterday that both groups had dispersed, and the LRA's top leaders were back in their jungle hideouts in the DRC.
"The group in Owiny-Ki-Bul has scattered in South Sudan."

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