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Cablegate: Northern Uganda Notes (October 1-31, 2008)

VZCZCXRO2499
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1449/01 3091018
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041018Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0833
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0751
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 0029
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0507
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 3505
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 001449

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PASS TO USAID AND OFDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREF ASEC EAID UG SU CG
SUBJECT: NORTHERN UGANDA NOTES (October 1-31, 2008)

KAMPALA 00001449 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Summary: The following Northern Uganda Notes provide
information on the situation on the ground and USG activities aimed
at meeting Mission's objectives in northern Uganda. These
objectives include promoting regional stability through peace and
security, good governance, access to social services, economic
growth, and humanitarian assistance. Post appreciates feedback from
consumers on the utility of this product and any gaps in information
that need to be filled. End Summary.

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PEACE AND RECONCILIATION PROCESSES
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2. (SBU) On October 8, Southern Sudan's President Salva Kiir
demanded a timeframe within which the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
must sign the Final Peace Agreement (FPA). Kiir told southern
Sudanese parliamentarians that he could not wait indefinitely for
LRA leader Joseph Kony to sign the FPA. Kiir appealed to the UN
Special Envoy for LRA-Affected Areas, Joachim Chissano, and Chief
Mediator Riek Machar to provide a deadline for the signing of the
FPA so that other options can be explored.

3. (U) The establishment of the War Crimes Division of the High
Court could be delayed, according to Principal Judge James Ogoola.
On October 3, Justice Ogoola told a human rights consultative
meeting that the absence of an appropriate domestic law could limit
the scope of the new division. Meanwhile, on October 28 the
International Criminal Court (ICC) announced the commencement of a
pre-trial court to determine if Kony would be tried by the
international court or the Ugandan High Court. The ICC appointed a
lawyer to defend Kony and the other two ICC indictees. The GOU, the
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, and Kony's lawyer were invited to
submit views on the court by November 10.

4. (U) Ocampo renewed calls for the arrest of Kony following recent
LRA attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and southern
Sudan. On October 22, the ICC pressed the DRC to execute arrest
warrants for the LRA leaders. The ICC called on the DRC to provide
detailed information on measures it was taking to execute the
warrants of arrest. The responses are due on November 17.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (U) On October 2, leaders in the north appealed to the World
Food Program (WFP) not to end school feeding programs. The leaders
argued that it is too early to end school feeding because many
families can only afford one meal per day for their children.

6. (U) The Acholi Parliamentary Group is seeking a court injunction
to halt the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) for northern
Uganda, claiming that the implementation of the PRDP is vague. Aruu
County MP Samuel Odonga Otto said that the recovery project captures
a large geographic area, including districts such as Kapchorwa,
Busia, Arua, Mbale and Tororo, which were not LRA-affected. The
parliamentarians argued that the project may not help the
communities actually affected. Otto also said the government does
not have money available for the PRDP activities and is waiting for
donations from the international community.

7. (U) On October 27, Minister of State for Northern Uganda David
Wakikona warned leaders in northern Uganda against politicizing
government programs, which are meant to rebuild the war-ravaged
region. Wakikona urged the leaders to focus on recovery of their
areas instead of politics. He added that if the leaders politicize
developmental programs that investments, stability and security, and
the local people would suffer.

8. (U) USG Activities: Ambassador Browning participated in the
handover ceremony for Invisible Children projects in northern Uganda
on October 29. Invisible Children started operations in northern
Uganda in September 2005. In 2007, it began a program named
"Schools for Schools" which has linked 850 schools in the US to ten
schools in LRA-affected districts of Amuru, Gulu, and Pader to
reconstruct and rehabilitate damaged schools. Invisible Children
raised $1 million, primarily from U.S. schoolchildren, in 100 days
for the renovations, text book supplies, and teacher incentives.
While in Gulu, the Ambassador met with local government officials,
non-governmental organizations that implement U.S. programs, and
staff at the USAID Northern Uganda Office.


KAMPALA 00001449 002.2 OF 002


9. (U) USAID's office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) approved
three new activities: a grant to provide engineering support to the
Gulu District Engineer to advance a number of infrastructure
projects; the purchase of furniture to equip sub-county offices and
courtrooms; and rehabilitation of a borehole in Opaya primary
school, an area of high levels of internally displaced persons (IDP)
returns. This brings total funding under the OTI to $680,000 in
support of 21 activities. In the Acholi districts of Amuru, Gulu,
Kitgum, and Pader, approximately 37 percent of those who were
internally displaced at the peak of the conflict remain in mother
camps, 38 percent have moved to satellite or transit camps, and 28
percent have returned to their villages.

10. (U) USAID donated approximately $6,000 to assist in the fight
against diseases such as malaria, bilharzia, trachoma and river
blindness in Amuru District. The administrator in charge of Vector
Control Program, Richard Odokonyero, announced that implementation
started in October and will be completed in November.

- - - - - - - -
SECURITY UPDATE
- - - - - - - -

11. (U) On October 8, the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) reported that a total of 23,000 Congolese fled
their homes due to LRA attacks in September. UNHCR estimates that
up to 150 Congolese had crossed daily from the DRC to the villages
of Sakure, 15 kilometers south of Yambio, and Gangura, 30 kilometers
south-west of Yambio, in southern Sudan. Approximately 5,000
Congolese were reported in Yambio, while 17,000 others are in the
Dungu area of northeastern DRC. The UN, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and the Southern Sudan Relief and
Rehabilitation Commission undertook joint operations to assist the
displaced.

12. (U) On October 10, the UN Mission in Congo (MONUC) said LRA
rebels killed 52 civilians and abducted 159 children when they
attacked Dungu town. MONUC's Political Affairs Officer Jacob Mogeni
called for a strategy to deal with the LRA and other negative forces
during a border security meeting.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
FROM THE MEDIA AND THE WEB
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13. (U) The LRA resumed attacks on civilians in the eastern part of
the DRC, according to the Daily Monitor's article entitled, "No
Attack on Congo Planned - Uganda". According to the story, Uganda
has assured the DRC that it would not send troops across the border
"clandestinely" to carry out pre-emptive strikes on LRA rebels.
Henry Okello Oryem, State Minister for International Relations, said
that Uganda had told Kinshasa that its contribution to resolving the
security challenges will be made in broad daylight. The paper also
reported that defense ministry and military officials from Uganda,
DRC, and southern Sudan have been working on joint plans to attack
the rebel army in its bases in eastern Congo, but no action has been
taken despite several meetings.

14. (U) The Army Spokesperson, Major Paddy Ankunda, was quoted as
saying that the Ugandan Peoples' Defense Forces (UPDF) was
monitoring the borders as a precautionary measure against the LRA,
but that should the LRA attempt to enter Uganda, the UPDF was ready
to take action. Ankunda reportedly said that the army was
monitoring the DRC border on a daily basis and denied that General
Aronda Nyakairima had given any orders. Ankunda urged displaced
persons to continue returning to their villages, assuring them that
there was no security threat.

15. (U) LRA peace delegation leader David Matsanga issued a
communique to the international community and Chissano, demanding a
new location for the LRA assembly. Matsanga said that the LRA has
no faith in the security of the Rikwangba assembly area and staging
point at Nabanga that have been the hub of peace activities since
2006. He added that recent troop movements in southern Sudan have
given the UPDF a free hand, making the areas unsafe for the LRA.
The Daily Monitor asked the leader of the Ugandan Government's peace
team, Ruhakana Rugunda, for his thoughts on Matsanga's letter.
Rugunda said that the way forward is for the LRA to sign the final
peace agreement because time is not on their side. "If they (the
LRA) have issues, they can raise them as part of and within the
framework of the agreement," according to Rugunda.
BROWNING

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