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Uganda has witnessed almost two decades of civil war. The crisis is most acute in northern Uganda, where Joseph Kony has led the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in a violent armed campaign. The LRA is notorious for its capture and use of children as combatants – as many as 3000 according to some estimates. LRA military campaigns and the government's armed response have led to the displacement of an estimated 1.6 million people.
The government of Sudan has supported the LRA because the LRA has bases in southern Sudan and fights there against the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). The government of Uganda has similarly supported the SPLA, hoping the SPLA will drive the LRA out of its Sudanese bases. This Sudan equation has been somewhat less salient after the North-South peace accords in Sudan, signed in 2005. The LRA also has ties with the Rwandan Interahamwe and with the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD). It has had some armed presence in the eastern and most troubled part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Despite the media's neglect of the Uganda civil war and humanitarian crisis, the Security Council finally began to pay attention in 2005-6 and the International Criminal Court announced that it was considering indictments of Kony and other LRA leaders. In November 2006, the Secretary General sent Joaquim Chissano, as Special Liaison on LRA-affected areas, to oversee peace talks in the southern Sudanese city of Juba. Joseph Kony eventually refused to sign the peace accord, hoping to gain leverage against an ICC indictment and arrest. Since then, the LRA has lost much of its military strength, while Chissano has continued to push along the peace negotiations. To strike a deal with Kony, he has urged the Security Council to allow local Ugandan Courts to prosecute the LRA leadership instead of the ICC. In early June 2008, there were reports that the LRA was rearming. This prompted Uganda, the DRC, and southern Sudan to hold a series of meetings in Kampala, to map out a military and political strategy to defeat the LRA and reduce its activity in the region.

UN Documents


Resolution 1663 (March 24, 2006)

Security Council Resolution 1663 asks Secretary General Kofi Annan to "expedite the necessary preparatory planning for transition" from the African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (AMIS) to a UN operation by April 24, 2006. The Council also requests that the UN peacekeeping mission to Southern Sudan (UNMIS) intensify its efforts to coordinate closely with the African force during the transitional period. Finally, the body calls on Annan to make recommendations for dealing more effectively with the Lord's Resistance Army, the Uganda-based rebel group which the Council condemned for human rights abuses.

Resolution 1653 (January 27, 2006)

The Security Council adopted Resolution 1653 in a ministerial-level debate on regional dimensions of peace and security in the Great Lakes region of Africa. The resolution calls on the Governments of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to disarm and demobilize militias and armed groups, especially northern Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. The resolution also acknowledges the link between the illegal exploitation of natural resources, the illicit trade of those resources and the proliferation and trafficking of arms as key factors fuelling and exacerbating the conflicts in the Great Lakes. Resolution 1653 thus urges the countries of the region to promote lawful and transparent use of natural resources among themselves and in the region.


Violence in Karamoja: Armed Violence and the Failure of Disarmament in Uganda's Most Deprived Region (June 2008)

This Small Arms Survey report warns of the high levels of small arms violence in eastern Uganda, which has impaired communities' socio-economic development. The report claims the Ugandan government provides inadequate security, forcing communities to use small arms as the main means of protection. The author argues that violence will only end when the government changes its strategy from forced disarmament to effective policing and economic development.

Counting the Cost: Twenty Years of War in Northern Uganda (March 2006)

This report by Civil Society Organizations for Peace in Northern Uganda (CSOPNU) describes the brutal impact the conflict between government forces and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has had on the civilian population in northern Uganda. The average death rate in the region amounts to 146 per week - three times higher than in Iraq – and the average annual cost of the war, $85 million. Yet the LRA, the Government of Uganda, and the international community have failed to acknowledge the true scale and horror of the situation, and act resolutely. CSOPNU calls on the UN Security Council to immediately adopt a resolution specifically addressing the conflict in northern Uganda, establish a panel of experts to investigate and monitor the activities of the LRA, and appoint a special envoy for northern Uganda to support efforts for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

A Strategy for Ending Northern Uganda's Crisis (January 11, 2006)

The Security Council should recognize that the twenty-year-long insurgency of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda poses a threat to international peace and security. The International Crisis Group urges the US, UK, Norway and the Netherlands (the informal "Quartet" of donor countries concerned about the crisis in northern Uganda) to push the Council to endorse a comprehensive peace plan. This report outlines a peace strategy that includes pressing Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to cooperate to fight LRA incursions and to focus on protecting civilians.


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Uganda's Oil: Lessons on Governance and The Resource Curse (March 20, 2013)

As Uganda contemplates commercial production of its vast quantities of oil in the coming years, there is intense debate over how best to avoid the “resource curse” of its neighbors. The question is not one of knowledge; there is no shortage of literature covering resource management for Uganda to draw on. The problem lies in management challenges and governance. Sound legislation and Ugandan specific frameworks are futile unless corruption is curtailed and there is a transparent public involvement in the management of future resource revenue. The political concentration of power and lack of civil society involvement in politics may prevent effective oil and wealth management. However, there are broadly shared aspirations towards peaceful development, which may prompt the government to use the revenue for human development. (The Guardian)


Lord's Resistance Army Uses Truce to Rearm and Spread Fear In Uganda (December 16, 2008)

After attempting for 20-years to overthrow the Ugandan government, Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is gaining strength. Although Kony has promised to sign a peace agreement with the government, he only uses the ceasefire to recruit soldiers for his 670-men strong rebel group and to rearm it. Local charities contribute to the power of the group by giving the LRA food to prevent the plundering of villages. (Times)

South Sudan Falls Out With Uganda (July 10, 2008)

After the incursion of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) into southern Sudan in 2002, Uganda and Sudan forged an agreement allowing Ugandan forces to pursue military targets in southern Sudan. However, following accusations that Ugandan forces attacked Sudanese civilians during military operations in June 2008, the South Sudan Government is demanding the withdrawal of all Ugandan troops from Sudanese territory. Relations between both nations remain tense as the South Sudanese Army takes full responsibility to guard civilians against LRA attacks. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

Kony Adds to Peace Process Turmoil (July 3, 2008)

Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda, appeals for renewed peace talks with the government. Kony, trying to show his commitment to peace, has restructured his negotiation team and claims he wants to end the conflict. The Uganda government, though, insists that negotiations have ended and that Kony must sign the already-agreed-upon peace arrangement, which he previously refused to sign. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

Museveni and Kiir Agree to Give Uganda Peace Process Another Chance (June 23, 2008)

Joachim Chissano, the UN Special Envoy for the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), briefed the Security Council on Joseph Kony's signing of the Final Peace Agreement in Uganda. Kony wishes to return to the negotiating table, but Chissano revealed that the Ugandan government insists that Kony comply with the protocols already established in previous peace talks. The Security Council, in order to speed up the peace process, claimed it will consider suspending Kony's indictment by the International Criminal Court, and try him in Uganda instead. (Sudan Tribune)

Security Council Report – Update: Uganda/ LRA (April 11, 2008)

The Ugandan government may ask the Security Council to defer International Criminal Court (ICC) proceedings against Lord's Resistance Army soldiers, according to Security Council Report. The article notes that by deferring the case, the Security Council hopes to induce the LRA to sign a long awaited peace-deal with the Ugandan government. The LRA claims that the ICC arrest warrants dissuade the group from negotiating. However, the author notes that by suspending the case, the Security Council will undermine the judicial independence of the ICC.

Representatives for Wanted Ugandan Rebels Visit International Criminal Court (March 10, 2008)

A delegation representing the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) visited the International Criminal Court to negotiate the dropping of charges. Though the LRA and the Ugandan government have finalized peace talks, LRA leader Joseph Kony said he would not sign a peace accord unless the ICC drops the case. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo refused to meet with the delegation but the neutral Registry of the Court did meet them to discuss procedural details and help the LRA understand the case against them. The ICC judges can decide to drop the LRA case if the domestic legal process meets international legal standards. (International Herald Tribune)

SUDAN-UGANDA: Optimism As Government, LRA Sign Ceasefire (February 25, 2008)

This article reports on the signing of a permanent ceasefire between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government on February 24, 2008. The ceasefire formally ends the war that has torn Northern Uganda for over two decades. Final provisions relating to the integration of former-LRA combatants into the national army remain unresolved, but there is optimism that a settlement will be reached. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

UGANDA: Peace, Justice and the LRA (February 21, 2008)

The Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have reached an agreement on war crimes trials, allowing for the national prosecution of the LRA leadership, rather than prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC may drop the issued indictments, but only if national proceedings measure up to international legal standards. The responses to this development are mixed. Human Rights Watch fears the Ugandan judiciary will need massive improvements first, while Amnesty International condemns the agreement, arguing that national prosecutions might well be a "sham." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)


Source: BBC

Conflict Beyond the Oil Barges (August 13, 2007)

A 1990 agreement between Uganda and DR Congo declared joint ownership and exploitation of oil fields that extend across their shared border. Several violent incidents and the concentration of Ugandan forces in its western Rwenzori border region have led the heads of the Ugandan and Congolese forces to issue a joint communiqué, promoting political solutions to these border clashes. But Uganda "reserves the right of self defense", and private military company Executive Outcome's contracts to guard Congolese mines add to the militarized nature of resource exploitation at the border. (Daily Monitor- Kampala)

UN, Others Must Defeat Darkness of Lord's Resistance Army (July 27, 2007)

In light of stalled peace negotiations between the Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), this Washington Post opinion piece suggests steps to promote talks and otherwise foster peace. The author calls for funds to demobilize LRA soldiers. At the same time, the article encourages UN forces in neighboring DR Congo to increase existing military pressure on the LRA, which occupies that country's Garamba Park. And LRA leader Joseph Kony himself must be prosecuted, though doing so might involve unsavory bargains such as promising him house arrest or other lesser penalties.

Rebels Want to Share Power with Ugandan Govt (June 3, 2007)

The deputy leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) Vincent Otti tells Voice of America that if the Ugandan government were serious about peace, they would lift the International Criminal Court indictments against LRA leaders. Otti adds that as Ugandan citizens, the LRA leaders should be tried under Uganda's criminal justice system. He also says that peace is contingent upon a power-sharing government between President Museveni and the rebel group, as power is what the rebels have always been fighting for.

LRA and Ugandan Government Renew Truce (May 24, 2007)

Following allegations of more violence by the Lord's Resistance Army despite a ceasefire with Kampala, both sides signed a formal truce on May 19. Negotiations are to resume on May 31. The LRA maintains that it will not arrive at a peace agreement unless and until the International Criminal Court (ICC) drops charges against LRA leaders. The ICC has repeatedly refused to do so although Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has offered LRA leaders an amnesty from domestic prosecution in exchange for a peace deal. (Institute for War & Peace Reporting)

Uganda: Renewed Truce Raises Optimism Over Future Talks (April 16, 2007)

The Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) renew the truce that fell apart in December and agree to resume the stalled peace talks in Juba. Uganda's Interior Minister Ruhakana Rugunda says that the government has accepted the LRA's requests for a bigger team to monitor the new agreement, in response to the LRA's accusations that the original mediators were biased towards the government. Rugunda added that both sides had agreed that the talks will keep the southern Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar as mediator. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Uganda Gov't Not to Resume Fighting LRA Rebels Despite Expiry (February 28, 2007)

Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) cites faith in the Juba peace process and belief that peace talks are the best viable option for northern Uganda as the reasons for not attacking LRA rebels although the truce agreement signed by the Ugandan government and LRA rebels in August 2006 has expired. LRA deputy commander Vincent Otti called for war after the expiry of the deal but the LRA negotiation team in Nairobi disassociate themselves from this position. The LRA's insistence on an alternative venue and mediator continues to hinder the Juba peace talks. (Xinhua)

Uganda: LRA Gets Ready for War (February 6, 2007)

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has rejected Juba as a venue for peace talks with the Ugandan government saying that the government's presence in South Sudan is a threat to the talks. They also accuse the designated peace talks mediator, South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar, of "having a soft spot for the Ugandan government." Ugandan President Museveni says that if the LRA does not take the talks seriously, they will be arrested. The International Criminal Court has already indicted some of the LRA's leaders. (Monitor)

Lord's Resistance Army in Sights of UN Security Council President, for Action on War Crimes (February 2, 2007)

Slovakia's Ambassador Peter Burian, president of UN Security Council for February, calls for "concrete action against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)" and tells Inner City Press that he and other Security Council members did not criticize the LRA in late 2006 because the situation in Uganda "was fragile." Now, Burian fears that the LRA is using avoidance tactics against war crimes indictments issued by the International Criminal Court by making small concessions to the UN. He says that the Security Council needs to revisit recent developments in Uganda.



UN to Participate in Monitoring Ceasefire Agreement (November 14, 2006)

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, has announced that the UN will help in monitoring the peace agreement between the Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Egeland, who was the first UN official to meet with the LRA leader, expressed his confidence in a peaceful outcome to the conflict after securing both sides' commitments to the cease-fire. Yet, he warns that the peace process remains fragile and "could quickly unravel." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Gov't and Rebels Sure of an End to 20-Year Conflict (August 28, 2006)

The Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have signed a ceasefire agreement as a prelude to further talks aimed at finally ending Uganda's twenty year civil war. While the LRA have used similar opportunities in the past to re-arm and recruit new fighters, Kampala declared it sees "an unprecedented will from both sides to reach an agreement." The peace talks will focus on the LRA demands of representation in political appointments, cuts in the Ugandan military and autonomy and development of northern Uganda. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Uganda: Govt Warns It Will Invade DR Congo If Talks With LRA Fail (August 22, 2006)

The Ugandan government promises to repeat its 1998 invasion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo should the rebel Lord's Resistance Army fail to sign a peace deal by September 12, 2006. LRA leader Joseph Kony has taken advantage of the porous border with the DRC throughout the twenty year war in northern Uganda to seek refuge and regroup. While agreeing to confront the LRA, the government of the DRC remains opposed to Ugandan troops reentering the country. The 1998 invasion sparked a six country war and left militias in control of areas throughout the eastern provinces. (East African)

Uganda Peace Talks to Restart Despite Death of Senior Rebel Leader (August 16, 2006)

As talks between the Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army resume, diplomats express hope that the parties can arrive at a settlement within a month. The rebels dropped their initial demand that the government forces agree to a truce as a prerequisite to dialogue and have now agreed to continue the talks despite the killing of a leading member of the LRA by the Ugandan army. In return they hope the Ugandan government will request that the International Criminal Court revoke its arrest warrants on LRA leader Joseph Kony and his senior colleagues. (Independent)

With Leaders Like Ours, We Need Oil Wealth Like a Hole in the Head (July 12, 2006)

With a nation that has been struggling under "poverty, a huge debt and general deprivation," Ugandans might be expected to rejoice at the discovery of oil fields in their country. However, a post independence history of corruption, mismanagement and violence over the control of natural resources has left Uganda's people skeptical whether they will see any benefit of the country's new wealth. This East African opinion piece highlights the potential for conflict within Uganda over the oil found in the Bunyoro region where a separatist movement still exists.

Give Peace a Chance, Northern Leaders Tell ICC (June 2, 2006)

Religious leaders in northern Uganda have warned that the decision of Interpol to issue arrest warrants for Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leaders could escalate the violence and undermine efforts at achieving peace. The Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative, an inter-faith lobby group, pointed to next month's talks between the LRA and south Sudan's Vice President, Riek Machar. They urged the ICC and Interpol to give the negotiations room and to "take the opportunity offered by this meeting." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Uganda: Sudan VP Gives Kony Message to Museveni (May 15, 2006)

In a message to Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, rebel leader Joseph Kony, who has not communicated directly with the Ugandan government since 1993, expressed his desire for peace talks. Failure to agree to this condition and others, stipulated by Sudan, could lead to the expulsion of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from Southern Sudan. Uganda welcomes any effort to bring peace to the northern region that has suffered at the hands of the LRA. (African News Dimension)

Call for Regional Effort to Tackle LRA (May 9, 2006)

Uganda is pushing for "regional cooperation" in its efforts to hunt down and apprehend Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group leader Joseph Kony and his associates. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni called on the Sudanese and Congolese governments, as well as the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), known as MONUC, to help capture Kony and "hand him over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague so as to end impunity." Museveni has repeatedly threatened to invade DRC if the LRA attacks Kampala from bases in northeastern Congo. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

UN to Target ‘Neglected' Uganda Crisis (April 3, 2006)

UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland called on the UN to appoint a special envoy in northern Uganda. Calling the 20-year conflict between the Ugandan government forces and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) "the world's worst form of terrorism," Egeland stressed the need for the Museveni government to provide real security for its people, bring LRA commanders to justice and establish a civilian police and judicial system. (Toronto Star)

On the Eve of Elections, Uganda Is a Tale of Two Countries (February 20, 2006)

This article highlights the discrepancy between the northern and southern regions of Uganda. In the southern half of the East African country, President Yoweri Museveni receives praise for having reduced poverty, inflation and the rate of HIV infection. For northerners, however, Museveni's presidency has only brought suffering and alienation. Civilians accuse Museveni of failing to end the 20-year rebellion led by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army and ignoring the fate of the 2 million displaced people dependent on UN food aid to survive. (San Jose Mercury News)



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