8 October 2012

Uganda: AU-Backed Force a Misplaced Effort to Wage War - LRA

The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) peace team on Sunday described the ongoing anti-LRA campaign initiated by the African Union with support from the United Nations as a "misplaced" effort to "wage war" rather than promote peace.

In March this year, four African countries, with the backing of the UN and the AU officially launched a Regional Task Force (RTF), which was established to hunt down LRA rebels and its elusive leader, Joseph Kony.

Although the first batch of the RTF initially comprised of about 5,000 soldiers from Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central Africa Republic (CAR), an additional 360 troops from CAR, 2,500 from Uganda and 500 South Sudanese forces were last month handed over to the AU-initiated RTF.

However, LRA in a open communication, addressed to the ongoing 67th Session of the UN General Assembly accuses the AU envoy on LRA issues, Francisco Madeira of allegedly drumming up support at the UN meeting to "wage war in Central Africa, instead of promoting peacemaking."

"Before members of the UN get further lured to lend effort to and get mired into the quicksand of war in the Central African region, it is surely logical that the promoters of this war are requested to put to the UN, the requisite diagnosis of the real disease which buffets Nile African lands," partly reads the LRA letter.

Instead the LRA, in the letter, strongly advocate for an easy and sustainable resolution to the over two decade conflict to "end political apartheid", citing the case of South Africa.

"Africa - could and can easily bring to a definitive end, this shameful process of self abasement, and dehumanization and of endless begging of other peoples' moneys before the glare of the peoples and nations of the world to fund unnecessary militarist adventures," adds the letter, which bears the name Justine Labeja Nyeko, albeit not signed.

The 5 October letter, also criticizes the Ugandan government for its "negative war and dictatorial policies" ahead of the country's jubilee celebrations on Tuesday.

Uganda is due to mark 50 years since it attained its independence from the British colonial rule on 9 October, 1962. At least 15 heads of states, including South Sudan's Salva Kiir are expected to attend the celebrations in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

"It is imperative that Ugandans rise once again with due dignity to honor the lofty cause of African independence (uhuru) and to the responsibilities incumbent on all who value African independence to defend it," further reads the letter from the LRA peace team.

"(..) the terrible dependency syndrome and endless crave for monetary gain of its governing cabal, that continually tarnish Africa's dignity and squander its possibilities to self become, have to cease," it adds.

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