Magazine article New African

Uganda: An End in Sight? Hope Springs Eternal, and the Long-Drawn-Out Rebel War in Northern Uganda May Be Nearing Its End. Tom Okello Reports from Kampala

Magazine article New African

Uganda: An End in Sight? Hope Springs Eternal, and the Long-Drawn-Out Rebel War in Northern Uganda May Be Nearing Its End. Tom Okello Reports from Kampala

Article excerpt

There is fresh hope that the long-running conflict in northern Uganda between the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of President Yoweri Museveni could finally be approaching its elusive end. A recent amnesty, which was extended for a further three months in August, has facilitated large-scale defections from the lower ranks of the LRA as well as several high profile commanders.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

These developments have led the Ugandan army to claim that the LRA's command structure has been significantly weakened due to the army's renewed operations and recent successes, and that the conflict will soon end.

The sudden increase in the number of combatants surrendering to the army is indicative of a change in the situation of the 18-year conflict. According to the army, consistent military pressure on the LRA at its rear bases in southern Sudan has reduced the rebels' operational capabilities.

In August, President Museveni attributed the increase in the number of rebels surrendering to the army to "the military pressure we have put on them, and also because of the good treatment we have extended to those who surrender". Of these, Brigadier Kenneth Banya, the most high profile LRA commander to have come out of the bush, has been much publicised as an example of the government's guarantee of amnesty.

As more combatants give up the fight, the level of violence in the north has decreased. But the commencement of investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into war crimes and human rights abuses committed by the LRA could unwittingly stem the current tide of rebel defections.

Although only investigating the highest levels of the LRA's leadership, the ICC's work may quite possibly prove counter-productive. The prospect of retribution against fighters who lay down their arms could serve as a motive not to do so, especially for those who may have committed atrocities in this long-drawn-out conflict. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.