Monday, April 14, 2008

LRA/GoU peace negotiations: Poison Chalice?

A couple of days ago, i started the poison chalice debate on this blog. Little did i know that indeed the much anticipated signing of the peace agreement between the LRA and GoU was in essence a poisoned chalice.

When the news that Kony had not only declined signing, but had also killed his second in command came in, it just served to confirm my fears.

It reminded me of a publication by Dr. Deborah Goodwin of the Royal Military academy of Sandhurst which i read in my political science class. "A poison Chalice: Negotiating with Extremists" is quite appropriate. But what would you expect if both parties in the negotiation are extremists?

For now lets pray that much as the bushes in northern Uganda are regenerating quite fast due to the raging rains, LRA does not use it as a den to unleash terror on the masses there.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The ravages of war

Exhibits of war. A sign of a once-upon-a-time homestead. Such sights are not uncommon when you traverse northern Uganda. However hope is rife that with the return process gaining momentum, homes not just huts will sprout afresh.


Its a joy to watch such homely settings returning after decades of turmoil. Hopefully things will just get better with the peace process underway. For now, optimism remains high.

Childhood memories

Children take time off to socialize and rekindle the happiness that a child is entitled to. I normally tell people who care to listen that my childhood memories are filled with the majestic boran and Zebu bulls and cows traversing their grazing grounds something reminiscent of the pre-conflict era in Acholiland. But the kids of the "revolution" in Acholiland today are actually lucky to survive malnutrition. Thank God, the peace accord signing process is underway.

Alone but unfreightened

A lonely little boy stares at strangers in their compound

Hoping against hope

A school boy treks to school using a newly opened route in Northern Uganda.
Its re-assuring to witness children that have been betrayed and forgotten by the powers that be, trying hard to gain knowledgde that will help them realise and offset the deprivation they have suffered over the past 2 decades.

The return process

A newly constructed homestead in one of the remote areas of Northern Uganda.
After over two months without a post, Lwani returns. As usual, i will share with you what i saw while i was away. In a nutshell, the return process in Northern Uganda continues to gain momentum and i was impressed by what i saw. Against all odds, the wretched of the earth continue to struggle to overcome the inequities and absurdities of our society. Lwani will continue to be their voice.

Poisoned chalice?

This morning my anxiety was high because of the screaming headlines on BBC, "Uganda rebels due to sign peace".

I imagined Kony inspecting a guard of honuor prior to signing the agreement at a camp in the jungle town of Ri-Kwangba in southern Sudan, with journalists flashing their cameras at one of the most elusive rebel leaders in History. However, i remembered that the signing was put off last week after Mr or rather Lt. Gen Kony said he was sick. I hoped another excuse wouldn't come up and i still hope by the end of today, a stroke of Kony's pen will mark the end of the insurgency atleast in principle.

This will be good news to the over Two million people were displaced in the conflict, during which the LRA allegedly abducted thousands of children to serve as child soldiers.

However the impediment to this could be the POISONED CHALICE way back in Kampala and at the Hague. I leave it to you to guess what this poisoned chalice is.

Keep your fingers crossed.

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