Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Juba Peace Talks is About Peace in Uganda

Many people have varying views about the Juba peace talks. Some think it is about 'soft landing' by the LRA top commanders. This is rather simplistic if one considers how the whole country has been thrown into turmoil and bloodshed by many ambitious groups. The greatest division among the people has been ushered in by the NRM regime which has killed and maimed with impunity. So well-carried out are their plans that an ordinary person would not be able to tell the crime NRM is committing. One favorite method is to cordon off an area and fake an attack in which the NRA is always victorious and only allow its version of news to be published afterwards.
Now, the Monitor newspaper has published an article written by Angelo Izama which is one of the best example of how NRM manipulates events and information. It is one of the greatest fabrications in the history of Uganda NRM regime. Izama either only reads what he wants to read or is compelled to ignore other obvious sources of contradiction to his story.On October 24, 2006 it was reported in a Nairobi newspaper that 15 soldiers from the federal government were arrested for killing 5 people south of Juba. This killing was reported by Uganda authorities to be the work of LRA. In spite of the fact that the government of Southern Sudan has said the killings was the work of suspects from the federal government; Angelo Izama (NRM propaganda) would have none of that. So they came up with a name for these groups as “New LRA”. Why does it have to be ” New LRA?”The only plausible reason is that the government of Uganda has made a mistake to accept the peace negotiation in Juba Sudan where they cannot control the pace of things and are trying to find a way to scuttle the peace talks because LRA has now become a more formidable force than hitherto believed. It has now even metamorphosed into 'New LRA.' The situation in southern Sudan is very complex in terms of the number of forces involved in the areas.
The arrival of ‘New LRA’ is, definitely, not the reason to scuttle the peace talks. The way Izama put it, Khartoum did not need a pseudonym to carry out its mandate. It is really in poor taste to imply that the Khartoum government can only operate incognito in southern Sudan or that they need to be the ‘formidable LRA’ in order to be heard or accomplish their goals. What Izama is doing here is telling his readers that there are no wrong-doers other than LRA. This is wrong and does not promote understanding among different groups with opposing ideas. The insistence that all wrong-doings be pinned on LRA is sinister warning from Uganda government that they will respect no peace accord signed by the LRA or any groups for that matter.
And, totally missing the point, the Uganda government is not able to see that the peace talk is about peace to the people of northern region, eastern region and all areas of Uganda. Given all the negative propaganda against the LRA, it should have become clear that the reason people all over the world are not convinced about the Uganda government propaganda is that evil and repression is certainly being perpetrated by the government. The LRA is merely doing its best to resist a sophisticated genocidal plan of the government.
Right now as I speak, if the Museveni government were to remove the NRA soldiers from all detaches, reverse its policy towards the people in eastern and northern Uganda, promote a committee for reconciliation, obtain and disburse fund for rehabilitation of the northern and eastern regions, revert maintaining of law and order to the police, embark on a program to empower the people in all communities, the Juba peace talk would become redundant. These few points would result in a speedy return to normalcy in Uganda. Museveni has had a long and prosperous rule, which he can now exit with the Juba Peace talks. At this time the will to forgive and not look back is at its highest among the tired people of Uganda because the so-called peace in the rest of Uganda is really a result of the pervasive spy network instituted by Museveni in terms of NRA cadres and LC system. So, Museveni can either take it or let the opportunity slip by again. The people have a long memory.

1 comment:

Angelo said...

Hi, I only just came across your comments on the story about the possibility of a new " LRA". While i appreciate your concerns about the story, i can see how the conclusions you have drawn show the partiality of your approach. The story actually is premised on the controversy of the Juba road killings, it looks at the fact that witness reports blamed tong tong ( a name for LRA) and also that GOSS had suspects linked to the Khartoum government. The headline " new LRA" was used analogically to refer to the complexities of the peace process in South Sudan. There is a nexus here of several militia worked by several governments. The behavior of the LRA and these groups are shaped by these external influences which include foreign governments. The fixation of commentators like yourself about this issue being about only peace
in Uganda and therefore, a domestic issue where there are clear political sides is part of the problem. Propaganda is a ruse available to both sides, it does not take away the other agencies in this saga. Vincent Otti himself had told me that he had nothing to do with those Juba road killings. Should i believe him? is it a question of belief? The jury is still out on the Juba road killings . As a journalist i can only interpret and contextualise the evidence and right now i see many cooks playing with the soup in South Sudan and Northern Uganda.

Angelo Izama