Magazine article New Internationalist

Let's Talk: Words Not Weapons Are Needed in Uganda

Magazine article New Internationalist

Let's Talk: Words Not Weapons Are Needed in Uganda

Article excerpt

'WE GAZE stupefied by the paralysis of the Government and its powers,' says Ugandan priest Jack Morris. 'Something drastic is wrong.' His comments add to the outcry of the Church against government response to a 12-year conflict between the army and rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. The Government has tried to suppress the rebels by force and President Museveni says he cannot understand why churches want the Government to be 'soft' on the rebels by engaging in dialogue. But many say the time is right for negotiation.

Bishop Onono Onweneng of Gulu diocese urges that 'channels of communication' are needed with the rebels. 'Let's see how we can bring them back into the flock,' he says. 'Relationships between human beings should be based on love rather than on power structure.'

His diocese is in an area of the north where LRA rebels operate. The rebels blend elements of Christianity with traditional beliefs of the Acholi ethnic group. They have a dedicated following but also recruit by terror - mounting raids from their bases in southern Sudan to seize boys to fight as soldiers and capturing girls to be concubines. …

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