With tough talk coming from both the Ugandan military and the Lord’s Resistance Army of late, what does this mean for the current peace talks?
Angelo Ezama is a special projects writer for the Daily Monitor Newspaper and commentator on KFM Radio. From Kampala, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the atmosphere surrounding the Ugandan peace talks.
“The rhetoric has become increasingly intolerant on both sides. You know, that just about two weeks ago the president (Yoweri Museveni) was touring northern Uganda and while there he had some hard things to say about the peace talks…. Now the rebels themselves have put very strict demands, at peace talks in Juba (Sudan) that even their leaders are raising their rhetoric.”
Asked whether he thought any progress was being made despite the harsh language, Ezama says, “No progress is being made at the peace talks in Juba…. The rebel delegation is making some ridiculous demands, including that the UPDF be disbanded and two new armies be created.”
The rebels also want arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court against Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leaders dropped. Ezama says, “Neither the warrants can be withdrawn, nor can Uganda at this point offer any other guarantees. So, there seems to be a stalemate.”
He says that the rebels don’t trust the Ugandan or the Sudanese governments to try to stop the ICC from prosecuting the rebel leaders. He says the UN Security Council or perhaps the United States could step in.