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April Monthly Update — Northern Uganda

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April Monthly Update — Northern Uganda

Posted by Enough Team on April 30, 2007

April Monthly Update -- Northern Uganda

Despite the Lord's Resistance Army’s (LRA) decision in January to withdraw from negotiations in the southern Sudanese city of Juba, diplomatic efforts led by UN Special Envoy Joaquim Chissano persuaded the LRA to return to the table on April 13. Rukhana Rugunda, the Ugandan Government's Internal Affairs Minister and chief mediator, held an unprecedented face to face meeting with the LRA's messianic leader Joseph Kony and his deputy Vincent Otti on March 10, resulting in the agreement to re-start peacemaking efforts. As a result, hope for a peace deal has cautiously rekindled.

When the Ugandan government and LRA reconvene in Juba, however, they will sit around a wobbly round table that lacks the necessary legs to support the peace process. None of the LRA’s military leadership and decision makers will be present. Instead of focusing on the LRA leadership's core security and livelihood concerns, the parties will grapple with an ambitious agenda of comprehensive solutions to the conflict that the brutal LRA have no right to discuss.

Nobody present will have the power to offer Kony a combination of carrots and sticks sufficient to make the LRA leader realize that his best and only option is to sign a peace agreement now. Unless these key structural weaknesses — inadequate representation, inappropriate issues, and insufficient leverage — are fixed, Africa's longest running and most preventable conflict will drag on for another year with potentially grave consequences for both northern Uganda and the other countries in the region where the LRA is operating: southern Sudan, eastern Congo and the Central African Republic.

It does not have to be this way. The resumption of negotiations provides a fleeting second chance to construct a sturdy process capable of succeeding. With a little effort and investment from the international community, led by the U.S., a real window of opportunity for peace can be seized. The U.S. should utilize its power and influence by naming a senior diplomat to work in close coordination with UN Envoy Chissano.

The following "3Ps" of crisis response must be implemented to reverse the situation:

Peacemaking:

The U.S. should appoint a senior diplomat to work in direct support of the peace process and in close collaboration and coordination with the UN Special Envoy, support the process financially, and use its significant leverage with the Ugandan Government to exhaust all peaceful options for resolving the conflict.

Protection:

The international community — particularly the U.S. — should pressure the Ugandan government to curb human rights abuses by its own security forces and deploy a police force capable of protecting civilians. Uganda, Congo, and Sudan should also work with the international community to develop a regional strategy to prevent further LRA atrocities within their national borders.

Punishment:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) should continue to pursue its case against Joseph Kony and his lieutenants. If a comprehensive peace agreement is in fact implemented, then the UN Security Council should suspend the ICC cases against Kony and other indicted LRA leaders for one year at a time — conditional on their good behavior — in the interests of peace in the region.

Crisis Group Analysts In The Field For ENOUGH

Sitting in a clearing under a fading sun, an elderly man from Alero, a camp for internally displaced persons in northern Uganda, told ENOUGH staff on February 3, "We Acholi have a saying: when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. War and life in the camps have made us victims for too long. LRA leader Joseph Kony and President Yoweri Museveni should sit down at a round table and end our suffering now."

The two elephants, Kony and Museveni, inched closer together this month, after UN Envoy Chissano brokered an agreement for the two sides to return to peace talks in mid-April. For the residents of Alero IDP camp, most of whom were either uprooted from their homes almost ten years ago or belong to the ill-fated generation of young Acholi whose only home has been these isolated, insecure islands of squalor and misery that dot the landscape of northern Uganda, the peace process between the Ugandan government and the LRA has raised hopes that the days of being trampled by this brutal, neglected twenty-year old conflict could finally be coming to a close.

The Ugandan government's response to the LRA insurgency has been a disaster on two counts:

The Ugandan government has herded northern Ugandans into camps that lack even the most basic services. Humanitarian groups are keeping people alive, but some 1,000 northern Ugandans die each week from malnutrition and disease. While it is impossible to find a northern Ugandan who has not been physically or emotionally scarred by the conflict, children have borne the worst of the war. It is estimated that 90 percent of the LRA are abducted children, and at least 25,000 children have been snatched by the LRA to act as child soldiers, sex slaves, or mules to carry the rebels’ spoils. Thousands of children remain missing, according to Save the Children. 50 percent of the IDP population is children under the age of 18, many with nothing but tattered clothes to cover their bloated bellies.

Moreover, the Ugandan military has not dealt decisively with the LRA, and Ugandan troops are guilty of human rights abuses against the civilians they are supposed to protect. When ENOUGH staff visited Coope, a camp of 10,000 people just north of Gulu, in February, residents claimed that an army soldier had raped a 15 year old girl that week. "We are living in fear here," the camp leader said.

To get a sense of the depth of disillusionment and abandonment among the ethnic Acholi in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, one only has to speak with Patrick, a former LRA child soldier who was abducted at the age of twelve and forced to fight for ten years. During a meeting under a mango tree in Gulu, Patrick told ENOUGH staff that Kony and Otti have recently been calling and sending text messages to former fighters in an attempt to lure them back to the bush. Despite the trauma of being ordered for years by Kony and his commanders to commit acts of unspeakable brutality, a handful have decided to return to the LRA while others meet to mull over their options and consider going back to Kony. Confined to a barren landscape, destitute of hope and offered little but empty promises, even life in the LRA seems a more attractive alternative to some.

  1. The Ugandan government has failed in its responsibility to protect civilians.
  2. The Ugandan government lacks the will to deal with the conflict's underlying political root causes.

While much of Uganda has experienced unprecedented growth since President Museveni, who hails from the south, took power in 1986 by toppling a military junta led by Acholi, the north has been locked in a devastating cycle of conflict. Disempowered, dispossessed, and caught in the crossfire of a brutal war that many feel the government could have ended long ago, the residents of Alero expressed strong anger and mistrust towards Museveni and his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). Politically, economically, and socially, Uganda has fractured along a fault line dividing the prosperous south from the war-torn north. Bridging this gap is an essential step in building a lasting peace and will require sustained commitment by the Ugandan government and support from the international community.

The road to revitalizing Juba

The Juba peace talks provided a ray of hope for the people of Uganda when the LRA and Ugandan government signed a cessation of hostilities agreement on August 26, 2007 – the first bilateral truce between the two parties after 20 years of fighting. Most LRA fighters left northern Uganda as a result of the agreement, and signs of improved security are apparent throughout the region. Dusty dirt roads long made desolate by freedom of movement restrictions that penned people in camps and barred travel at night now teem with traffic. With roads open longer and armed escorts by the Ugandan army no longer necessary, humanitarian relief workers have better access to provide urgently needed aid, but the lull in violence risks creating a false sense that the humanitarian catastrophe in northern Uganda requires less attention. In March, the World Food Program, which has provided a lifeline of food to the 90 percent of the ethnic Acholi displaced by the conflict, announced that a funding shortfall will force it to cut food rations in half in April. Long neglected, the people of northern Uganda cannot be abandoned just as peace is within their grasp.

While roughly 230,000 people have left the camps, few have actually returned home. Most have been relegated to smaller resettlement camps where conditions are often as bad (or worse) than the older, more established sites. As people begin to venture back to their villages, conflicts have already begun to erupt over land whose boundaries have been blurred by long displacement, disfigured by war, and rendered uncertain by ambiguous laws.

A further shadow was cast on the IDP's hopes for retuning home and living in peace when the LRA withdrew from talks on 12 January, citing concerns about the safety of the venue and the impartiality of the mediation. The LRA delegation issued several press releases from Nairobi stating that they would not be pressured to return to Juba, and LRA's deputy commander Vincent Otti told ENOUGH during a phone interview that he would never order his delegates to come back as long as Government of South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar remained chief negotiator. With the talks in limbo, the cessation of hostilities expired on February 28 without the LRA assembling in two areas in South Sudan designated in the agreement.

"Some people had begun constructing homes in their villages, but this has stopped due to conflicting reports on the status of the peace process," one resident of Alero told ENOUGH staff. The fear and anxiety evident in the eyes of the people in Alero is not unfounded. While the LRA’s fighting capacity has been diminished in recent years, they have not been defeated and still wield a potential for destabilization disproportionate to their reduced numbers. According to security sources close to the peace talks, the LRA still possess nearly 1000 fighters spread out over Uganda, Sudan, and Congo. While the bulk of their forces are holed up in a jungle hideout just west of Garamba National Park in Congo, several hundred of the LRA’s most battle-hardened fighters remain perched near the Ugandan border in South Sudan, where they have been allegedly looting villages. While the LRA have sent small groups to survey the Central Africa Republic as a potential new safe haven, published reports of a large-scale relocation from Congo to Central Africa Republic were a false alarm. Moreover, the LRA remain useful hired guns for the Sudanese government, who supported the rebels for years, to keep in reserve in case Sudan plunges back into war.

Prospects for reviving the talks improved in March after Joaquim Chissano, a former president of Mozambique who was named the UN’s Special Envoy to LRA-affected areas on December 1, toured the region twice. Chissano met with LRA leader Joseph Kony along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan on March 1 and March 10 in an attempt to broker a deal to bring the LRA back to the bargaining table. The LRA have been receptive to Chissano's proposals to provide security guarantees to their delegation in Juba and bring in representative from regional governments to act as observers to the talks and guarantors of any potential peace deal, but no firm agreement to return has been reached. Uganda’s Internal Affairs Minister and chief mediator Rukhana Rugunda accompanied Chissano’s second visit and held his first face to face discussion with Kony. In the wake of this landmark meeting, the LRA delegation agreed to return to Juba on April 13 to discuss terms for restarting talks. While Chissano’s efforts are a step in the right direction and have had a positive impact, the international community can do much more to push for peace in northern Uganda.

Policy Challenges And Opportunities

Northern Ugandans have eyed the peace talks with a mix of hope and understandable skepticism. Despite some progress this month in jumpstarting the process, considerable challenges remain.

The first challenge is reforming the Juba peace process itself. The talks involve the wrong participants, the wrong issues, and inadequate leverage — the who, the what, and the how of peacemaking.

Who: Joseph Kony remains the spiritual and military epicenter of the LRA, and any serious peace initiative that does not directly engage Kony and address his core security and livelihood concerns is shallow, shaky, and will ultimately not succeed. Instead of dealing directly with Kony, the current peace talks have been distracted and derailed by discussions with an LRA delegation composed of members from the Acholi Diaspora who represent neither the interests of neither the LRA’s military leadership nor the suffering civilians of northern Uganda.

While some remain skeptical of his sanity, Kony wouldn't have been able to survive and lead a rebel group for twenty years if he didn’t have the ability to make rational calculations based on his self interest. Faced with mounting military pressure and the threat of prosecution by the ICC, Kony made the decision to pursue peace talks. "Kony is no fool," a top Ugandan commander said, "he is a master of playing people off of one another to get what he wants." As long as peace talks are primarily channeled through unreliable intermediaries such as the Diaspora delegation, figuring out the essential element of Kony wants will remain an unnecessary mystery.

What: Negotiations with the LRA, the prime perpetrators of the plight of northern Uganda, are not an appropriate forum to address past Acholi grievances and future redevelopment needs of the north. At best, the talks can hope to produce an agreement that ends the armed conflict, creating a stable security environment for urgent resettlement, rehabilitation and reconciliation initiatives. At most, the peace deal can succor commitments from the Ugandan government to create a broad-based forum representing the voices and interests of the north to steer a second, more comprehensive track aimed at building a sustainable peace that addresses the conflict's underlying root causes by ending the alienation of northern Uganda.

While large scale projects to resettle displaced civilians, rehabilitate northern Uganda and reconcile the north/south divide cannot proceed until there is a peace agreement that enables a stable security environment, some steps to improve the disastrous conditions in the north can be taken now. Conflict in the north over land, the only tangible economic asset remaining for most Acholi and the foundation for reconstructing the north is already emerging and must be addressed to provide tenure security and prevent dispossession. Police can be brought in and courts created to reestablish the rule of law and protect civilians, while efforts to deliver essentials services to the camps should be redoubled to take advantage of improved security.

The scope of the negotiating agenda should also be pared down to reflect the realities of what can and cannot be negotiated with the LRA.

How: The main challenge for the peace process is to offer enough incentives to ease Kony’s security concerns and entice him out of the bush while at the same time applying enough pressure to increase the costs of war and convince Kony that a peace agreement is his best and only option. A platter of carrots and sticks served by a respected intermediary such as UN Special Envoy Chissano is the most effective way to push the process forward and end the pressing humanitarian suffering in northern Uganda. This strategy of direct negotiations with Kony is a way to supplement and support negotiations in Juba, not entirely bypass or undermine them, by clarifying the LRA's main interests and engaging the military decision makers who must sign off on any deal.

"A Deal for Kony and LRA Leadership"

The first step is giving Kony a carrot to nibble on. The LRA leadership must know that the UN Security Council would most likely put the prosecutions on hold as outlined in the ICC Charter in the interests of peace if a peace deal is signed with acceptable justice measures. In that context, President Museveni will either guarantee their security if they choose to return to Uganda or work to find an appropriate place to provide third country asylum. The Ugandan government must also work closely with donors to design return and reintegration packages for rank and file fighters. The U.S. can play a key role by clearly conveying to Kony that the U.S. will remove the LRA from the State Department’s Terrorism List and will not support any military action against the LRA as long as they sign and comply with the terms of a peace deal that features robust accountability mechanisms.
The second step is making sure that Kony and his supporters will face clear consequences if peace talks do not succeed or if the LRA drags out the process to regroup and rebuild their withered military capacity. Several sticks are available. The International Criminal Court's investigation and indictments were instrumental in focusing international attention on the LRA, upping the ante on Khartoum to cut its life support system for the LRA, and prodding Kony to pursue peace talks. The ICC prosecutor must continue his prosecutions. Additionally, the UN Security Council should create a panel of experts to investigate the LRA's sources support and provide sanctions such as asset freezes or travel bans for offenders. Members of the Acholi Diaspora in countries such as the U.S., U.K., and Germany have played a crucial role in providing military and financial support to Kony, and these countries must investigate and prosecute any spoilers who are breaking national laws.
Finally, visible planning for a backup regional security strategy aimed at apprehending ICC-indicted commander, containing the LRA from threatening civilian populations, and dividing the LRA leadership from the rank and file by offering attractive amnesty and reintegration packages to fighters. There must be a regional forum for LRA affected countries plus UN missions in Sudan and Congo to sit down and sculpt a stick to strike Kony and incapacitate the LRA if necessary. Again, the U.S. must play a leadership role in this process to coordinate regional efforts and make sure that the weak national armies have enough capacity to effectively carry out any collective response.

  1. Reforming the Juba peace process
  2. Reaching consensus on the International Criminal Court (ICC)

The second challenge the international community must address is how to reach consensus on ICC indictments and the justice versus peace debate. The ICC has been unfairly scapegoated as the main obstacle to a peace agreement, mainly as part of a strategy by the indicted commanders to have arrest warrants against them lifted. However, as noted above, pressure from the ICC was important in altering the LRA and Khartoum’s calculations and providing momentum for peace talks. Otti has told ENOUGH staff that the warrants are not necessarily an obstacle to negotiating a deal and the issue of lifting the indictments only has to be addressed at the end of the day after an agreement is signed. If the parties are able to successfully negotiate a deal, there are mechanisms available within the Rome Statute to reconcile the interests of justice with the interests of peace. In particular, Article 16 enables the Security Council to suspend the ICC's investigation for renewable one year increments if it decides that proceeding with a peace agreement is in the interests of international peace and stability. With the LRA's tentacles reaching out over three countries and threatening to wrap around a fourth, the U.S. should use its position on the Security Council to strongly support an article 16 resolution if the parties reach an implementable peace deal which includes appropriate justice and accountability measures.
Justice and accountability is a necessary element of any potential deal because many victims want to see Kony and his henchman held responsible for what they’ve done. At a school for formerly abducted children just outside of Gulu, ENOUGH staff talked with a teenage girl who had spent two years in the bush with the LRA and was used as a sex slave by one commander. "I want to see Kony punished for what he has done to us," the girl said in a quiet but firm voice. Many people in Alero agreed. "The LRA are criminals and Kony should be put in jail," a young man said, as others nodded and clapped in approval.

Seizing the opportunities
These twin policy challenges — a misguided peace process and the International Criminal Court indictments — have clear solutions (discussed in the recommendations section below), and the current regional climate creates unique but potentially short-lived opportunities that the international community must exploit.

  • The stabilization of Southern Sudan has cut off the LRA's traditional supply lines to Khartoum and eliminated their safe havens. However, implementation of the peace agreement between Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) is faltering and the NCP will likely seek to sow instability in the south to disrupt elections in 2009. The LRA could once again be a useful proxy for the regime in Khartoum to wreak havoc in the region. If the peace talks collapse, the LRA could easily spread and burrow into the vast, lawless eastern areas of Central Africa Republic that border Darfur and once again be within easy reach of their puppet masters in Khartoum.
  • Successful elections last year in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the slow but steady transition to a functioning state from what had been a large security vacuum means that the LRA will not be able to hide in Congo forever and the Ugandan army cannot unilaterally enter the country to hunt down the rebels without strong international condemnation. Stability will enable the region’s military forces to mature and become more effective, increasing pressure on the already beleaguered LRA, and create economic incentives for a peace deal. But the landscape could easily change, particularly if Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement falters and Khartoum renews support of the LRA. The international community, spearheaded by strong U.S. support, must make sure that this window of opportunity for peace is seized.

 

ENOUGH Policy Recommendations

Peacemaking:: The U.S. should appoint a senior diplomat to work in direct support of the peace process and in close collaboration and coordination with the UN Special Envoy, support the process financially, and use its significant leverage with the Ugandan Government to exhaust all peaceful options for resolving the conflict.

A comprehensive peace process must proceed on two tracks. The first track between the Ugandan government and LRA leaders should defuse the LRA security threat by focusing on the specific details of the LRA's return from the bush — notably security arrangements for Kony and his top lieutenants — and more technical issues such as disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, or DDR, of LRA fighters back into society.

The second stage between a wider set of actors from Northern Uganda must deal with the accumulated wounds of war and directly address the conditions that have made northern Uganda prone to conflict for the last 20 years. Assisted by the international community, the Ugandan government must hold an inclusive national forum to deal with the underlying political and structural issues that have fuelled the cycle of conflict in the north.

Formal negotiations need to be combined with informal attempts to convince the LRA that they will be accepted back into the community if they return home. Facilitating meetings between the LRA and Acholi leaders, former commanders that have successfully reintegrated, and family members will be critical to overcome these understandable concerns and build confidence that a peaceful return is possible.

Protection: The international community –- particularly the U.S. –- should pressure the Ugandan government to curb human rights abuses by its own security forces and deploy a police force capable of protecting civilians. Uganda, Congo, and Sudan should also work with the international community to develop a regional strategy to prevent further LRA atrocities within their national borders.

Despite improved security conditions, protecting northern Ugandans from a possible return to full-scale civil conflict and addressing the plight of displaced and vulnerable northern Ugandans remains an urgent priority. The miserable condition of life in the camps is the primary cause of death in northern Uganda, with malnutrition and disease killing 1,000 people every week.

In response to the LRA attacks years ago, the Ugandan government herded people into camps, and the government now must take appropriate measures to protect people from the consequences of this encampment policy. The Ugandan government's responsibilities must be clearly laid out and international human rights officers must be deployed — preferably under UN auspices — to monitor the voluntary return of displaced Ugandans to their homes.

Furthermore, if the Juba peace talks fail to end the conflict, LRA-infiltrated Uganda, Sudan, and Congo must work together with the international community to develop a cooperative regional strategy to prevent further LRA atrocities. This collective response should have four main elements:

  1. Coordinated military actions to apprehend the ICC-indicted LRA leadership.
  2. Enticements to rank-and-file LRA to return home through offers of amnesty, improved reintegration packages, and programs targeted at improving the capacity of war-affected communities to accept and absorb former fighters.
  3. Measures to sever the LRA's supply lines by establishing a Sanctions Committee through the UN Security Council to investigate sources of support and recommend offenders for multilateral sanctions, such as asset freezes and travel bans.
  4. Steps to contain the LRA within the remote jungles of Congo to neutralize the threat they present to civilian populations. If military force must be used, national armies should operate in concert but within their own borders.

A forum must be created where all LRA affected countries and the UN missions in Sudan and Congo can sit at a single table to discuss and coordinate this collective response. The U.S. can play an important role in ensuring that the countries work together and have the necessary capabilities to implement any backup regional security strategy. The Ugandan army has drastically improved on its poor history of protecting civilians from LRA attacks. Camps are better protected than in the past and troops have been deployed to prevent the LRA in Sudan and Congo from crossing back into Uganda. The Ugandan government should take the next steps to improve security by providing a capable police force in the war-impacted areas and rebuilding the court system to enforce the rule of law.

The Ugandan government and the international community must also work to ensure that the shifting security situation in the north doesn't create as many problems as it solves. Adequate resettlement packages and essential services must be provided to displaced civilians who move to smaller, newly created decongestions sites rather than return home. Rather than cutting down aid, as the World Food Program may be forced to do by a lack of donor support, aid agencies and the international community must work with the Ugandan government to take advantage of improved security to alleviate humanitarian suffering by providing more relief. Without access to aid and resettlement packages, competition and conflict over land, the one productive resource remaining for the Acholi, will increase. The development of a new national land policy is urgently needed, but has been put on hold due to lack of funding.

Punishment: The International Criminal Court should continue to pursue its case against Joseph Kony and his lieutenants. If a comprehensive peace agreement is in fact implemented, then the UN Security Council should suspend the ICC cases against Kony and other indicted LRA leaders for one year at a time -– conditional on their good behavior -– in the interests of peace in the region.

The ICC indictments ratcheted up pressure on Kony and the LRA leadership and were crucial in driving them to the bargaining table in July 2005. Strong justice and accountability mechanisms must be central to any meaningful peace agreement to win domestic acceptance and broader international support, but also to deliver justice to victims and deter future crimes.

With respect to the indicted commanders, the most principled, pragmatic compromise balancing the short-term interests of peace and longer-term interest of justice would be third-country asylum for the indicted LRA commanders in a country that is not a member of the ICC. If the LRA undermines the talks or is responsible for their collapse, then regional partners in collaboration with the international community must exert all efforts to apprehend the indicted and bring them to justice.

Traditional reconciliation ceremonies are important to ensure reintegration and rehabilitation of returning LRA fighters, but are not sufficiently adapted to the scale, scope, and nature of the current conflict's crimes and must be supplemented with more formal mechanisms.

ENOUGH Activist Agenda

Displace Me — "leave your homes to bring them home", Saturday, April 28, 2007

Join Invisible Children, Resolve Uganda and ENOUGH in a day of voluntary displacement. We ask you to leave the comforts of your homes to imagine for 24 hours what it must be like for the 1.5 million displaced people in northern Uganda. Gather with other activists and concerned citizens at one of 15 camps across the United States and call for international action to bolster peace talks and bring an end to the 20-year war in northern Uganda. For more information on "Displace Me" and participating cities, click here.

Learn More

From ENOUGH:

 

Read recent opinion pieces and articles by Crisis Group:

 

Read Crisis Group reports and briefings.

Watch actor Ryan Gosling and John Prendergast discuss the ongoing conflict on ABC's television news program Be Seen, Be Heard, broadcast in March 2007:

  • Part 1, Ryan Gosling and Crisis Group Senior Advisor John Prendergast hope to effect change in Uganda.
  • Part 2, Fear of civil war in Uganda overshadows the recent cease-fire.

 

Go to Reuters AlertNet for the latest humanitarian developments, and see what World Vision, International Rescue Committee and Oxfam are doing to respond to the crisis.

Lead Your Leaders

With peace talks at a make-or-break point, this is a crucial moment for the people of northern Uganda – and your voice can make a difference. By contacting your elected representatives, you will be joining thousands of concerned activists from across the country in "leading their leaders" on this issue. Ensure that your elected officials know that their constituents care about northern Uganda and bringing an end to this conflict.

For those of you with the passion and the means, set up a meeting with your members of Congress to show them that resolving the crisis in Darfur is a priority of yours, and should be one of theirs, too.

Call your Senators and member of Congress at 1-202-224-3121 (9:00am – 6:00pm EST, Monday through Friday) and tell them to:

  • urge the Bush administration to appoint a senior diplomat to work in direct support of the peace process in close collaboration and coordination with the UN Special Envoy, support the process financially, and use its significant leverage with the Ugandan government to exhaust all peaceful options for resolving the conflict;
  • urge the Bush Administration to pressure the Ugandan government to curb human rights abuses by its own security forces and deploy a police force capable of protecting civilians;
  • press the Bush administration to work multilaterally to help Uganda, Congo, and Sudan develop a regional strategy to prevent further LRA atrocities within their national borders; and
  • support the International Criminal Court's efforts to pursue its case against Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord's Resistance Army, and his lieutenants.

Call the White House at 1-202-456-1414 or e-mail at comments@whitehouse.gov, and tell President Bush to:

  • appoint a senior diplomat to work in direct support of the peace process and in close collaboration and coordination with the UN Special Envoy, support the process financially, and use its significant leverage with the Ugandan government to exhaust all peaceful options to resolving the conflict;
  • pressure the Ugandan government to curb human rights abuses by its own security forces and deploy a police force capable of protecting civilians;
  • urge the Bush administration to work multilaterally to help Uganda, Congo, and Sudan develop a regional strategy to prevent further LRA atrocities within their national borders; and
  • support the International Criminal Court's efforts to pursue its case against Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord's Resistance Army, and his lieutenants.