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Cablegate: Northern Uganda: Whither the Peace Process?

VZCZCXRO7023
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1469/01 3150550
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100550Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0844
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0753
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0509
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 3507

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 001469

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREF PREL MOPS CG UG SU
SUBJECT: NORTHERN UGANDA: WHITHER THE PEACE PROCESS?

1. (SBU) Summary: The Chief Mediator of the Juba Peace Process,
Government of Southern Sudan Vice President Riek Machar, held a
stakeholders' conference in Kampala on November 5 aimed at creating
a roadmap for the stalled process between the Lord's Resistance Army
(LRA) and the Government of Uganda (GOU). The conference allowed UN
Special Envoy for LRA-Affected Areas, Joachim Chissano, to carry out
consultations with the GOU, LRA, donors, northern Ugandans, and
Southern Sudanese Government (GOSS) officials. Participants
demanded that the LRA stop attacks in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) and sign the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) without
conditions by November 30. In addition, the stakeholders urged
Chissano to continue his role and donors to continue support for the
peace process. Machar and Chissano will make a final effort to
bring Kony together with his delegation in order to get the LRA
leaders' signature on the FPA. We are not holding our breath. End
Summary.

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STAKEHOLDERS FLOCK TO KAMPALA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (SBU) GOSS Vice President and mediator Riek Machar called the
parties and other stakeholders together in Kampala on November 5 to
discuss the way forward for the peace process. UN Special Envoy
Joachim Chissano, who wanted to consult with key constituencies in
order to prepare his report to the UNSC, joined Machar. LRA
delegation leader Dr. David Matsanga's presence marked the first
time he had been to Uganda in 22 years and was not without
controversy. Ex-LRA delegation members, who reside in Uganda,
complained bitterly that they were excluded. One UN official said
that Matsanga's presence in Uganda would help to legitimize him as
LRA leader Joseph Kony's designated representative against these
detractors. The stakeholders included the parties, observers to the
peace process, northern Ugandan leaders, and civil society
organizations.

3. (SBU) Machar told the stakeholders that the process of
negotiations had ended and that it was important to get Kony to sign
the peace agreement. He said that even if Kony does not sign,
internally-displaced persons could still return home. He asked that
the establishment of the Joint Liaison Group be considered to
oversee implementation. He announced that he did not disband the
Cessation of Hostilities Monitoring Team (CHMT). Machar said that
he decided to keep the structure of the process until Kony signed
the agreement. Machar explained that he has not given up on Kony
signing the FPA because Kony had never told him or Chissano that he
had abandoned the process. Machar said that Kony continues to have
difficulties with the International Criminal Court (ICC), but that
the FPA is his only way out. Machar said that Matsanga told him
that Kony does understand the agreement. Most of the participants
condemned LRA attacks in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
including Machar, Chissano, and Ugandan Government lead negotiator
Ruhukana Rugunda.

4. (SBU) Gulu District Resident District Commissioner Walter Ochora
said that the stakeholders' conference and the potential meeting in
Rikwangba were orchestrated to buy more time for the LRA leader, who
is under some military pressure in DRC from the Congolese military
and local villagers. Northern Ugandan leaders also were highly
critical of Kony's activities. Archbishop Onono, leader of the
northern religious leaders for peace, called Matasanga a sinner for
representing someone who carried out brutal atrocities. Finally,
the GOSS Internal Affairs Minister and the Governor of Western
Equatoria criticized their government's failure to protect civilians
from the LRA, reading out a list of the attacks in southern Sudan
since the beginning of the peace process.

- - - - - -
COMMUNIQUE
- - - - - -

5. (SBU) Matsanga refused to sign the communique, drafted at 1:00
a.m. He told P/E Chief that it was not appropriate for one of the
parties to sign a document that was meant to be suggestions from
stakeholders to the Chief Mediator and Facilitator. However, he
also said that he could not be expected to sign a document that
criticizes Kony's attacks on civilians in DRC, which the LRA denies
carrying out. He claimed that he did read the communique to Kony on
the phone and Kony understood what his critics were saying about the
recent activities. The communique acknowledged that the LRA had not
assembled, that LRA military attacks in the DRC had caused great
suffering, that non-implementation of the peace agreement was
putting at risk the stability of the affected Great Lakes, and that
the mandate of Chissano was coming to an end (December 31). The
stakeholders' urged:

--The LRA to stop attacks and unconditionally sign the FPA before

KAMPALA 00001469 002 OF 002


November 30, assemble, and immediately release the children held
captive.

--All parties, the Chief Mediator, Special Envoy, to make necessary
arrangements for Kony to sign the agreement for implementation to
commence.

--Continuation of Chissano's role in resolving the LRA conflict

--The international community's continued support for the process
and implementation of the FPA.

- - - - - -
NEXT STEPS
- - - - - -

5. (SBU) A group of donors, led by the Netherlands, Norway, and
Sweden will likely fund the logistics for a meeting between Kony and
his delegation and a signing ceremony, if warranted. President
Museveni maintains that he is ready to sign the FPA. A few donors
want Museveni to unilaterally sign the document if Kony refuses
again. In our view, this would be a mistake because it relieves a
source of pressure on Kony and the ball needs to remain in his
court.

- - - -
COMMENT
- - - -

6. (SBU) The conference, which was billed as a discussion of new
ideas on the way forward, essentially endorsed the old pattern of
peace process activity. The added twist is that Machar and
Chissano, after Kony has failed to show up to sign the FPA five
times, insist that Kony attend a meeting with his delegation in
Rikwangba before they, as the Chief Mediator and Facilitator, come
to meet the LRA leader. We are not holding our breath that such a
meeting will materialize, but stay tuned.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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