Global Policy Forum

Museveni and Kiir Agree to Give Uganda


By James Gatdet Dak

Sudan Tribune
June 23, 2008

President Yoweri Museveni of the Republic of Uganda and President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Government of Southern Sudan have agreed to give the Uganda peace process another chance after the LRA leadership failed to sign the Final Peace Agreement in April, the UN envoy announced on Saturday.

UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) affected areas and former President of Mozambique, Joachim Chissano, revealed this in an exclusive interview over the BBC a day after he briefed the United Nations Security Council in New York on the status of the peace process between the Ugandan government and the LRA.

In his briefing to the Security Council on Friday, Chissano said he explained that the formal peace negotiations between the two parties were over since March this year and that a final draft of the Final Peace Agreement was initialed by the two parties, pending signatures by both President Yoweri Museveni and Chairman Joseph Kony of LRA.

He appealed to those who have influence on Joseph Kony to convince him to sign the Final Peace Agreement without any further delay. Chissano, however, pointed out that if Kony wanted some clarifications on certain provisions of the agreements signed he should be accorded such clarifications, but added that this would not amount to renegotiations of the protocols already signed by the two parties during the two years of negotiations in Juba.

Joseph Kony failed to show up to sign his part of the Final Peace Agreement scheduled for April 10, citing International Criminal Court (ICC) indictments on him for charges of war crimes as an obstacle to peace. He demanded that the arrest warrants be dropped, preferring to stand trial in a Uganda court and/or applying Acholi traditional justice mechanisms.

UN Envoy Chissano said "the Council was ready to consider any decision taken by the government of Uganda" to suspend the indictment of the LRA's Joseph Kony by the International Criminal Court, and put Kony on trial in Uganda instead.

Machar writes to Joseph Kony

In an attempt to woo him back to the peace process, the Government of Southern Sudan's Vice President and Chief Mediator of the Uganda peace talks, Dr Riek Machar has reportedly written to the Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony.

In the letter, Dr. Machar appeals to Kony to open direct communication channels with him to cut down bureaucracy and sign the Final Peace Agreement soon, an official working at the negotiations secretariat in Juba, Southern Sudan, who did not want to be named told Daily Monitor on Friday.

"Dr Machar has written a letter to Kony putting some proposals to him to help the stalled peace process," the official at the secretariat said.

He said Dr Machar told Kony that an African Union observer team will be deployed at Ri-kwangba, on the Sudan-Democratic Republic of Congo border, once the rebels from his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) agree to assemble at the designated area. The deployment of observers is to allay LRA fears that the Ugandan People's Defense Forces may attack them once at Ri-kwangba. Dr Machar said in the letter to Kony that the Ugandan government has agreed to begin implementing non-contentious issues that the two parties had agreed upon, notably the resettlement of internally displaced persons back to their homes.

The 22 years of war in northern Uganda is rated to be among the most brutal and long running civil wars in Africa. It has displaced nearly two million people and caused the death of tens of thousands in the region. The LRA claims that it fights for the rights of the marginalized people of the north-eastern part of the country.

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