Saturday, March 05, 2005

Peace Negotiation? Stupid!

The message that major peace negotiators from LRA sides have defected should be viewed with skeptics.
These officers have been fighting for the last seventeen years, coming and going between Sudan and Uganda. Now, there is a chance to negotiate for peace. Is this the time they would surrender? Of course, not.
Reports from Kampala say that the donors are unhappy with LRA for resumption of hostilities against civilians. Why would the donor say something like this without also saying something about the government’s part in the resumption of hostilities? Remember it was widely reported that the donors want Museveni to negotiate peace with the LRA. Therefore, this Kampala report is a distortion or statement meant to mislead the general public.
There is no independently verifiable source that Uganda armed forces are not carrying out the atrocities against civilians.

DONORS have appealed to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels to urgently demonstrate its commitment to peace by stopping attacks on civilians, reports Joyce Namutebi from Kampala.

This statement can mean so many things and chief among which is that attacks on civilians are perpetrated and controlled solely by the LRA. Or it can mean the donors control the LRA. We know that this is not true as the government soldiers are also attacking civilians with same effect as attributed to the LRA. Government soldiers also frequently pose as LRA.
Kampala administration is tailoring it’s response to the donor pressure that there should be a negotiated settlement to the conflict, which Museveni does not like. This attempt to negotiate peace with Museveni in the bush in Uganda should have been seen as a meaningless exercise intended lure the top LRA commanders as has happened. It happenned before to Eric Odwar's group in Corner Kilak.

We know that atrocities in the north are being committed by the NRA now UPDF. That is why the army does not allow independent reporters in Northern Uganda. For us to accept the government news sources, there must be confirmation from independent sources.

When the US went to war in Iraq, they had news reporter embedded with the battalions. Much as the news reporters seemed to have been too open for the army’s liking, they were more beneficial in according credibility to field commanders’ actions.

While Acholi clamors for peace, their weak position make it worthless for Museveni and his rebels-turned-government soldiers to take heed.

Herein, lies the path to peace in Acholi.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Comparing the embedded journalist situation in Iraq with the one in UG is unfortunate. most of us outside the US view the so called embedded journalists as rhetoricians for the US government. The reports of foreign journalists or the non embedded journalist being shot does not give us any comfort. To the winners belongs the tale. As long as Acholis are losers (as victims of both the NRA/M and LRA, it will always be a challenge to tell what is really going on independently.