Is There Peace in Northern Uganda?
(Washington, D.C.) The signing of the peace deal on April 11 between the Ugandan government and Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony highlights a huge opportunity to accelerate the return of roughly 1.5 million northern Ugandans to their homes. In an ENOUGH strategy report released today, authors Julia Spiegel and John Prendergast address the question: will this peace deal actually bring peace?
With several key steps and "with serious commitment from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to rebuilding and securing the North and sustained engagement from the international community" the authors believe peace is possible. However, in the long term "peace will not be assured in Uganda or the surrounding region until Kony comes out of the bush or is arrested."
According to John Prendergast, "Kony’s signature marks the beginning of the real peace process, not the end. Now the challenge will be how to induce him to implement the deal, which will require creative and diligent work by the mediators and supportive governments like the U.S. It is possible to get Kony to leave the battlefield, but it won’t happen unless negotiations commence directly with him about his security. Absent that, Kony will simply complete his metamorphosis from a Ugandan rebel to a regional warlord. In that scenario, children anywhere within a hundred miles of Kony will never be sure if they will be the next ones he targets for abduction."
Read the report here
The report outlines four immediate steps which should be undertaken to end this particular chapter of the war in northern Uganda:
- the international community must support disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of ex-combatants;
- the Ugandan government, backed by support from international donors, must kick-start reconstruction and development in the North;
- the Ugandan military must ensure security for those returning home; and
- the U.S., the EU, the Government of South Sudan, and other key actors must reach out to Kony to try to draw him out of the bush.
"The potential for the success of this agreement will be determined in large part by what happens in the next couple of months," says Spiegel. "The fact that there is any agreement at all is an extraordinary diplomatic accomplishment by the Government of South Sudan, the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and others. But in order to have any practical relevance to the people of northern Uganda, the deal must be quickly backed by significant resources for resettlement, reconstruction and reconciliation in the North."
To read "Is There Peace in Northern Uganda?," go to www.enoughproject.org.