Democratization and Securitization in Uganda

Uganda is currently preparing for national elections in 2011.  The contest presents an important challenge to the National Resistance Movement (NRM), in power since Yoweri Museveni overthrew the government in 1986.  But Uganda has emerged as the quintessential semi-authoritarian regime, with the government organizing elections while it centralizes authority, closes political space, and makes gestures of openness to the international community.  Museveni established a government officially without parties until a national referendum opened up the political process in 2005.  Until then the NRM artfully considered itself a movement, rather than a political party, in order to doge electoral stipulations.  Aili Mari Tripp details the architecture and strategy of the “hybrid regime” in her excellent new book, Museveni’s Uganda, published in summer 2010 by Lynne Rienner.

The ruling NRM has cleverly adopted the Global War on Terrorism as a political resource.  Even before the terrorist bombing in the capital in July 2010, the government began closing political space in the name of national security while it successfully obtained aid commitments from the United States to fight counter-insurgency wars, one of which is against the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the north.

In May 2010 President Obama signed “The ‘Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009” into law (Public Law No: 111-172).  The Act states that the United States will provide “political, economic, military, and intelligence support for viable multilateral efforts to protect civilians from the Lord’s Resistance Army” in addition to providing humanitarian assistance to communities affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army, and continuing to support Uganda’s government.  It designates $10 million from the 2011-2013 fiscal budgets to carry out these activities.  It also gave the White House 180 days to formulate a strategy to end the LRA’s brutal violence.  The NGO Resolve Uganda is counting down the remaining days on its website.

The problem is that the Ugandan government’s recent offensive against the LRA, Operation Lightning Thunder, backfired in the worst ways.  The Ugandan military has an interest in portraying the operation as a counter-terrorism success, and activists are rightfully concerned about the LRA’s brutal campaign of terror and recruitment of child soldiers see an American commitment as key to a solution.  But as the New York Times reported last year, the U.S. helped plan and pay for an attack that resulted in over 900 civilian deaths.  A series of articles by Ronald Atinkson in the London Independent further claimed that successes against the LRA had been exaggerated.

The difficulty of reconciling the forces of democratization with the country’s national security state was the subject of a letter that a dozen advocacy organizations sent to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Chief among their concerns is the danger that the U.S. will continue to provide security assistance without due consideration for human rights abuses being carried out by government forces.  Assistance currently includes International Military Education and Training (IMET) and some modest Foreign Military Financing.  Research by Human Rights Watch raises concerns about whether U.S. aid is in compliance with the Leahy Amendment, which prohibits assistance to individuals with a record of human rights abuses.  Ugandan and international activists are profoundly concerned about abuses by counter-terrorism units such as the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT), some of its former directors have received U.S. training.

Even if human rights protections are put in place, they are often easily circumvented by simply renaming the program, a practice I detailed in my 2005 book, In Democracy’s Shadow based on my Capitol Hill oversight experience.

Exporting the Worst of the PATRIOT Act?

The unfortunate truth for now is that the Ugandan government has effectively leveraged its fight against terrorism to grant itself broad authorities, which the NRM is using to its political advantage.  The government passed sweeping legislation in 2007 authorizing government eavesdropping, describing the Interception of Communications bill as an effort to fight crime and terrorism in the country.  The law gives the security minister the broad latitude to establish a Monitoring Center and to intercept communications throughout Uganda.  Through the receipt of a mere verbal request from a government institution, the government can intercept communications if there are “reasonable grounds” to believe:

  • a felony has been or will probably be committed;
  • the gathering of information concerning an actual threat to national security or any national economic interest is necessary;
  • the gathering of information concerning a potential threat to public safety, national security, or any national interest is necessary;
  • or there is a threat to the national interest involving the state’s international relations or obligations.

The legislation comes at a time when the Ugandan government is using this kind of broad authority to intimidate journalists and undermine government critics, thus making open competition in next year’s elections even more difficult than it already is.  As the July letter from US-based advocacy organizations argued, the bill is a sign that the government of Uganda will “further backslide on civil liberties and human rights obligations while using the bombings and the fight against terrorism as a shield from scrutiny.”

Development Slippage

Looking beyond the Pentagon, Washington is clearly aware of Uganda’s governance drift.  For example the US announced that will not renew 10 million dollars committed through Millennium Challenge Corporation to help Uganda move from “threshold” status to a full compact (ie, an agreement) for aid.  USAID’s plans call for strengthening democratic institutions, enhancing political competition, and improving parliamentary capacity for oversight through partnerships with civil society.  Unfortunately USAID faces an uphill battle, with no increases in the lines funding for either for civil society programs or for its good governance in Uganda, and cuts are planned for programs relating to “political competition and consensus building.” Even aid to fight transnational crime is slated for cuts.

Whatever Uganda policy the Obama administration lays out this fall needs to put securitization back in the context of democratization.  Neither peace nor good governance will be feasible without a strong commitment to accountability which extends to America’s straying allies in the war on terror.

September 22, 2010 · Dr. Carl · 14 Comments
Posted in: .

14 Responses

  1. Mary - September 23, 2010

    Secretary Clinton has yet to directly respond to the concerns raised in the NGO letter. However, it was encouraging to see the US refuse Museveni’s request in late August to fund the deployment of an additional 10,000 troops to Somalia.

  2. Michael - September 24, 2010

    Thanks Carl for commenting on this. Definitely a challenging situation.

    While the Ugandan military is currently the only source of protection for many communities in Congo and CAR, and is the only force preventing the LRA from rebuilding its capacity to commit even more widespread atrocities, certainly it would be shortsighted to provide support to their ongoing operations against the LRA without weighing such support against the longer-term (and therefore arguably more critical) struggle for the rule of law and democratic governance in Uganda.

    Just to clarify, we agree and make the same argument in the paper we’ll be releasing this coming week that seeks to provide a blueprint for the President’s LRA strategy.

  3. Victoria - September 27, 2010

    Thank you for posting this, Carl!

    I would like to highlight especially one point that you mentioned, which is Museveni’s gestures to the international community. Uganda’s recent commitment to the AU’s Convention for the Protection and Assistance of IDPs is a perfect example of the government’s PR expertise. On the one hand we have the national government being the first, and so far the only, country to ratify the Convention. On the other hand, residents of Gulu continue to live in disease-stricken camps, completely vulnerable to attacks, not just from the LRA, but at times, from the same governmental soldiers who have been assigned to protect them. While Uganda is not obligated to show any progress, since the Convention does not come fully into force until 15 member states ratify, it could make its commitment a little more believable if it acted on a “good-faith” basis and took some of its own initiatives, rather than waiting for outside assistance, such as the Clinton Group.

  4. moe - September 27, 2010

    Thank you for posting, Carl, and asking for our thoughts. I’d like to add three points to the discussion. First, Resolve Uganda’s actions fall under the general doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), a doctrine acknowledged and approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005. R2P is based on the premise that when a state substantially fails to protect its population (or worse, when the state actively preys on its population), then the international community has a responsibility to step in and protect the population. This doctrine arose from the failures to act in Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Darfur, but has yet to be truly tested in a military situation. Instead, R2P has been successful in the aftermath of natural disasters as in Haiti earlier this year when the international community acted in the absence of any seeming authority in the country. Resolve Uganda and the Enough Project have been vocal advocates for a military intervention against the Lord’s Resistance Army under an R2P mandate in Northern Uganda to alleviate suffering and bring an end to this long-running conflict. However, I share your concern about the likely impact of such an exercise because of my second point.

    The Lord’s Resistance Army is like a wild animal: it is most dangerous when cornered or threatened. The LRA’s worst atrocities have occurred following attacks by Uganda: in 1994 after the collapse of the Betty Bigombe-mediated talks, in 2002 in response to Operation Iron Fist, and Christmas 2008 in response to Operation Lightning Thunder. Each time Uganda’s army tried to strike the fatal blow to Joseph Kony and the LRA, the LRA responded by scattering its forces and then attacking civilian populations in retribution. I would expect that if the decision of the Obama Administration is to support further actions like Operation Lightning Thunder, then the LRA would respond in kind, by attacking civilian populations in central Africa. However, I do not think the Obama Administration options necessarily include military ones. The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 requires the Administration to “support multilateral efforts to successfully protect civilians and eliminate the threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army” and to provide “political, economic, military, and intelligence support for viable multilateral efforts to protect civilians from the Lord’s Resistance Army, to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield.” The act specifically refers to “transitional justice” which opens up the potential for my third point.

    In 2005, Joseph Kony and the top commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army were indicted by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court created by the Rome Statute of 2002. The United States has not signed the Rome Statute and may likely never sign it which opens a window of opportunity. During the Riek Machar-mediated talks between the Ugandan government and the LRA, one of the stumbling blocks to Joseph Kony’s signing of the final peace agreement was his fear of prosecution by the International Criminal Court. Kony was worried that whatever peace agreement he signed would be superseded by the ICC’s warrant.

    An alternative to ICC prosecution is available. Uganda has started the process of establishing a special court within its Ministry of Justice to try crimes of war (with the support of the Public International Law & Policy Group) and this special court could prosecute Kony and other LRA commanders in lieu of the ICC. However, for this to happen, someone would have to guarantee that Kony is not turned over to the ICC; this could be the role of the United States. Joseph Kony could surrender to representatives of the United States who would then either turn over Kony to the Ugandan government for prosecution in the special court or hold him in detention whilst he is tried in absentia by the special court. This would substantially fulfill part of the Obama Administration’s obligations under the LRA Act while also enabling Uganda to try Kony for his crimes and continue the process of reconciliation and reconstruction.

    The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Ugandan Recovery Act of 2009 is a noble piece of legislation. It is an attempt by civil society to provide peace and stability in a region that has not known such things for decades (or even centuries). But for all the reasons you raise and the reasons I state above, I am concerned about the Act’s outcome. I am also concerned about the precedent of American civil society dictating US foreign policy towards another country in so limited a fashion. I have met many of the Resolve Uganda staff and have been impressed by their dedication and drive. Their other activities, including hosting hearings on Capitol Hill, sponsoring visits from members of the Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative, and sending weekly updates, have brought the trials of a small corner of the world to the front of many decision-makers’ agendas. For this I applaud them. For the Obama Administration I would counsel caution. You are on a slippery slope; the Lord’s Resistance Army will not go quietly and a failed military operation in the region will spark more atrocities against a people who have only known suffering.

  5. Carl LeVan - October 19, 2010

    Acholi Religious Leaders Raise Concerns About U.S. Implementation of the Northern Uganda LRA Act

    Last month, the US-based group, Resolve issued a report entitled “From Promise to Peace: A Blueprint for President Obama’s LRA Strategy.” On Monday the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) released a critique of the report, which outlines aims to implement the LRA Act discussed in the above posts. The ARLPI outlines four major concerns with the proposed strategy for implementing the LRA legislation in the US:

    (1) Civil society in the LRA affected regions should be brought into the center of the implementation discussions and outcomes;
    (2) A negotiated solution should be seriously considered and a strategy outlined to achieve such;
    (3) A larger focus should be placed on investigating the supply lines to the LRA;
    (4) A civilian protection strategy should be implemented by each affected country, rather than solely by Ugandan forces.

    You can find the complete text of the critique on the ARLPI website here. True, they are only one voice within Ugandan civil society on the issue, and according to Resolve, a range of leaders from affected communities informed their report. The LRA is also a brutish organization.

    But the ARLPI critique raises important issues that deserve equal consideration in an Obama administration policy. Acts of war produces path dependent outcomes, as we say in the social sciences, and a policy that biases military solutions will be difficult to modify or undo once the damage is done.

  6. K - October 20, 2010

    Thanks for pointing out the report, it is quite interesting and raises a number of good points. Northern Ugandan civil society groups should definitely have been consulted during the development of Resolve’s strategy as they are representatives of the communities at hand. What I found to be perhaps their most critical point was targeting the supply line for the LRA, and this really should be part of Resolve and other NGOs’ strategy. A negotiated settlement might be on the cards, and will do much more to address regional/Acholi grievances with the NRM and Ugandan society, but after Operation Lightning Thunder I really don’t see there being too much of a chance that the LRA will get back to the table for peace talks. ARLPI might see this as the best strategy, but realistically I don’t see this getting off the ground. There is too much distrust now, and after the atrocities committed in the DRC/CAR, I don’t see wider Ugandan support for the LRA leadership being forgiven/integrated back into society.

    On another note, if the situation in South Sudan implodes, then there are good chances the LRA will move back to this region that they are quite familiar with. Also, there are scary rumours/small buzz that some districts/communities might seriously consider independence or start self-determination movements if the referendum in South Sudan results in 2 states. Basically grievances with Northern communities still have not been addressed. I find this situation worrying and now is an especially crucial time for Uganda to “walk the talk” on its committments and promises to the North. I doubt much will happen on these issues as everyone is completely focused on the upcoming elections, but who knows how everything will look a year from now.

  7. Fr. Rocco Puopolo - October 20, 2010

    Thanks Carl for this blog.
    I was happy to read the Acholi Religious Leaders critique of Resolve’s proposal. As much as I admire the work that Resolve put into the task at hand, the four points that you lift up from their critique are substantial.

    My concern is deeper however. Military responses to groups like the LRA do not end the chaos. I saw that in Sierra Leone with the insurgents. Capturing the “heads” of these groups will not stop their madness. I doubt there is a “head”. Even if Kony is captured, the LRA may splinter in many smaller groups that will continue to reign terror on the rural and remote areas of the region. And it will not stop the cycle of violence, which is what the Religious Leaders have consistently said. If we want to end the madness, we need to deal with some of the long standing issues of injustice, rivalry, unemployment, unfair trade and business practices, etc. that keep marginalizing rural populations. Besides and unfortunately, making war and keeping the region at war is the more lucrative part of business yet. And who suffers? We need to think and act differently. Military security just is not security for rural Africa.

  8. T - October 20, 2010

    Thanks for pointing out the report and as K pointed out it was quite interesting with some good point. I fully agree with all of K’s comments. Northern civil society groups should have been consulted and should be consulted, if there is still the possibility. Especially seeing that the government has not played as strong of a role as it should have in the development of Northern Uganda and or is not trusted by a good number of Northern Ugandans and so civil society has come to play a big role in providing some of the needs that should be taken care of by government.

    I also see where they are coming from with regards to their point that civilian protection should be implemented by country especially when one looks at the track record of the UPDF. The UPDF is not seen favourably in Northern Uganda let along Uganda as an entity and as they rightly put, a lot of stories/reports/accounts are coming out of the UPDF forces committing atrocities in neighboring countries. Personally, I am just not very trustful of the military in a number of African countries and from what I know from Ugandan history, I am especially not trustful of the UPDF and their ability to protect civilians.

    As K mentioned, I do not see much of a chance that the LRA will get back to the table for peace talks. I would like to believe that this can be done in a peaceful manner and that all responsible parties can come to the negotiation table and hack it out but I do not see that becoming reality. To begin with, the LRA is not in a state of mind where they trust that they can actually come to the table and discuss and leave the table willingly. From the time when Betty Bigombe first met with Kony, she stated that the only way he was going to be stopped was either through death or being arrested. A warrant is out for Kony by the ICC and I know that the Ugandan government has stated that he will not be sent to the ICC if he signs a peace agreement though I doubt there is any trust that this is what will actually happen. Otherwise, Kony would have shown up at the Juba peace talks. In addition, as K rightly states, the Ugandan population is not going to support the LRA leadership being forgiven/integrated back into society. Just like the ARLPI stresses the need to look at deeper historical grievances, I would also stress the need to look at these same grievances to understand why the Ugandan population might not be as ready to forgive. Historically, there has been a divide between the north and the south and to this day, when you talk about Northern Uganda in the capital city or with a southerner, there seems to not be as much compassion for the suffering of our brothers and sisters as there should be. When we also look at the case of Rwanda where we have seen many stories about forgiveness and integration and moving on, we also a case of a country that is repressed and where individuals have not necessarily forgiven but rather created a facade that is now slowly starting to fall apart.

    Everyone is focused on the elections now and it is not in Museveni’s advantage to bring this issue up now unless he has a solution that will lead to greater support so I doubt much will be done. But maybe in a year or two. It is disheartening to me that, it feels like, the majority of the country, on ground, has already given up on a section of their country.

  9. Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) - October 21, 2010

    Dr. LeVan, thank you for including us in your dialogue on the issues facing Uganda and the region and for assisting us in making our voice heard. Archbishop Odama and Bishop Ochola recently made an advocacy trip to DC to speak with those involved in developing the implementation strategy for the LRA bill. They also had the chance to meet and dialogue with Resolve during that time.

    The Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative speaks from a voice of experience with both the LRA atrocities and with the Juba Peace talks. Currently we are working on an ongoing basis with regional religious leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and south Sudan. Multiple meetings have occurred in the last year in Kisangani, Dungu and Yambio in order to get updates on regional dynamics and develop a regional voice for negotiations. Therefore we speak from our experience in Uganda, but are also informed by regional voices.

    The ICC has and continues to be one of the greatest obstacles to peace talks. We want to thank Moe for pointing out that there are routes of handling this obstacle within peace talks, rather then necessitating a military option to end the conflict. An additional option that we support is requesting the Security Council to temporarily suspend the indictments for one year. During the suspension not only could peace talks occur, but Joseph Kony could also travel to offer apologies to different regions. This is an approach that was already being explored with favor during the Juba Peace talks.

    With concern to reconciliation and justice, the Acholi people have a traditional process called Mato Oput that still has wide support among the community. It is characterized by non-violence, truth telling and adequate compensation. This is one mechanism that should be strongly considered in addressing justice and reconciliation issues in northern Uganda where appropriate. It is promoted in the text of Article 3 of the Juba Peace talks.

    Finally we want to re-emphasis the challenges of civilian protection during and after a military operation. As indicated there is a long history of backlashes against civilians following operations against the LRA. Due to the geography of the area, the additional threat that armies have often posed to civilian human rights, and a lack of careful implementation it is most likely that if a military option is once again supported a similar devastating result will occur.

    Negotiations are not only a viable option, they are the most likely to lead to a sustainable regional peace. Thank you again for inviting our voice into the dialogue.

  10. Beth - October 21, 2010

    I agree with the ARLPI that cutting off the supply lines for the LRA is one of the most critical means by which the international community can address the conflict. I also agree that a negotiated solution is critical if we are to see sustainable peace in the region.

    Without a doubt, getting the LRA to the table will be challenging, but I also don’t think we have a choice. Archbishop Odama tells the story of meeting Kony during the last round of peace talks, and Kony telling Odama that he wanted to spear an animal called “peace,” but that he also felt a lion behind him and he didn’t know whether to pursue peace or to turn around and fight the lion. Now, perhaps Kony made this analogy simply to stall the talks in order to re-arm and re-group the LRA, but Odama felt he was sincere. Long-standing conflicts such as this one inevitably take many rounds of peace talks, and simply because the last set failed does not mean we should abandon them. A military solution has also always failed, so why not choose the option least likely to affect civilians? The literature on negotiation is varied; there are many tactics and many ways a negotiation can take place, far beyond what has been tried in the LRA case.

    I also think it’s important to look at Kony’s motives. People who have negotiated with him do not consider him a rational actor, but he has managed to wreak havoc on a region for over two decades, so he must have some level of competency. Perhaps his strategy all along has been to prove he is an effective rebel force leader. That he can be a soldier for hire for any conflict where he is needed, that he can work for Khartoum and destabilize the southern Sudanese population.

    In truth, no one knows, but it is important to think about Kony’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement and to begin to weaken that alternative. Is his alternative to work for Khartoum? Then the international community needs to ensure that that is NOT a viable option, whether through pressure on Al Bashir or through intercepting the supply lines. Whatever it might be, there are ways that the international community can weaken Kony’s power without succumbing to a military attack.

  11. Carl LeVan - December 9, 2010

    White House Announces Policy On Uganda

    At present the American press is overwhelmingly treating the charges against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, as The Story. Thank goodness we have outlets such as the Guardian U.K. which is exploring the actual substance of the leaked information. On Uganda, cables show abuses in the Government of Uganda’s campaign against the LRA rebels. This could complicate matters for the U.S. since the White House just released its new Uganda policy two weeks ago.

    Apparently, American diplomats told Uganda to let them know when the army was going to commit war crimes using American intelligence. But it is not clear (from the limited information available to the public so far) that they tried to dissuade the Ugandans from violating the laws of war. The U.S. Embassy reported that an LRA colonel in custody was shot on orders from the head of Ugandan military intelligence for the northern region – an official who is close to Museveni.

    Knowledge about such abuses would matter because it would undermine American credibility in any eventual peace process. It could also violate the Arms Export Control Act, which limits the use of American weapons by recipient countries to “limited self-defense,” and which prohibits such arms from contributing to conflict escalation. Since Operation Lightning Thunder in the north has led to widespread civilian casualties, Congress needs to investigate whether American weapons – and intelligence – are being misused.

    If so, this adds an additional layer of concern for U.S. policy. Given the pattern of abuses so far, Congress should require strict oversight of any operation to tactically disarm LRA leader Kony. Protecting civilians and supporting regional and multilateral peace efforts are priorities in the White House policy on Uganda, released on November 24 to comply with the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act passed by Congress in 2009. Protection of civilians is “central to the strategy,” and the document tactfully acknowledges that some of the “national forces responsible for protecting civilian populations have competing national, or in some cases, political priorities.”

    In addition to protecting civilians, the other objectives are to:
    (1) apprehend or remove from the battlefield Joseph Kony and senior commanders;
    (2) promote the defection, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of remaining LRA fighters;
    (3) increase humanitarian access and provide continued relief to affected communities.

    Encouragingly, the White House has noted the need for a multi-year, multi-lateral perspective. It also seems to emphasize removing Kony from the battlefield, rather than more coercive language implied by some LRA Act advocates in the US.

    A big question is, will the new Republican-controlled Congress share these priorities, or will it look the other way? The new chair of the House Foreign Affairs committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), says “my worldview is clear: isolate and hold our enemies accountable, while supporting and strengthening our allies.” At what cost does the U.S. want to “strengthen” Museveni?

  12. Marisol Perry - December 21, 2010

    Thanks for pointing out the report and as K pointed out it was quite interesting with some good point. I fully agree with all of K’s comments. Northern civil society groups should have been consulted and should be consulted, if there is still the possibility. Especially seeing that the government has not played as strong of a role as it should have in the development of Northern Uganda and or is not trusted by a good number of Northern Ugandans and so civil society has come to play a big role in providing some of the needs that should be taken care of by government. I also see where they are coming from with regards to their point that civilian protection should be implemented by country especially when one looks at the track record of the UPDF. The UPDF is not seen favourably in Northern Uganda let along Uganda as an entity and as they rightly put, a lot of stories/reports/accounts are coming out of the UPDF forces committing atrocities in neighboring countries. Personally, I am just not very trustful of the military in a number of African countries and from what I know from Ugandan history, I am especially not trustful of the UPDF and their ability to protect civilians. As K mentioned, I do not see much of a chance that the LRA will get back to the table for peace talks. I would like to believe that this can be done in a peaceful manner and that all responsible parties can come to the negotiation table and hack it out but I do not see that becoming reality. To begin with, the LRA is not in a state of mind where they trust that they can actually come to the table and discuss and leave the table willingly. From the time when Betty Bigombe first met with Kony, she stated that the only way he was going to be stopped was either through death or being arrested. A warrant is out for Kony by the ICC and I know that the Ugandan government has stated that he will not be sent to the ICC if he signs a peace agreement though I doubt there is any trust that this is what will actually happen. Otherwise, Kony would have shown up at the Juba peace talks. In addition, as K rightly states, the Ugandan population is not going to support the LRA leadership being forgiven/integrated back into society. Just like the ARLPI stresses the need to look at deeper historical grievances, I would also stress the need to look at these same grievances to understand why the Ugandan population might not be as ready to forgive. Historically, there has been a divide between the north and the south and to this day, when you talk about Northern Uganda in the capital city or with a southerner, there seems to not be as much compassion for the suffering of our brothers and sisters as there should be. When we also look at the case of Rwanda where we have seen many stories about forgiveness and integration and moving on, we also a case of a country that is repressed and where individuals have not necessarily forgiven but rather created a facade that is now slowly starting to fall apart. Everyone is focused on the elections now and it is not in Museveni’s advantage to bring this issue up now unless he has a solution that will lead to greater support so I doubt much will be done. But maybe in a year or two. It is disheartening to me that, it feels like, the majority of the country, on ground, has already given up on a section of their country.

  13. Carl LeVan - December 31, 2010

    The ARLPI has issued a short response to the November 2010 White House strategy document on Uganda:

    “While promoting and supporting several essential items such as reintegration and enhanced telecommunication systems in remote areas, the implementation plan fails to support initiatives for negotiations, concerns about the UPDF, and the root causes of the conflict.”

    In addition, they argue that “an unstated faulty assumption in the plan is that there is also no purely diplomatic solution.”

    You can read the full text here.

  14. Carl LeVan - February 9, 2012

    The State Department published a fact sheet on February 7, 2012 outlining current assistance to Uganda. This includes the deployment of “a small number of military advisers to the LRA-affected region to enhance the capacity of the national militaries to pursue senior LRA commanders and to protect civilians.”

    It also includes USAID assistance provided through USAID. During Fiscal Year 2011, the US provided more than $18 million for food assistance and implementation of food security, humanitarian protection, health, livelihoods initiatives, and other relief activities for IDPs and the communities that host them.

Leave a Reply