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Cablegate: Northern Uganda Notes (July 29 - Aug 10, 2007)

VZCZCXRO8388
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1291/01 2250504
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130504Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9198
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0629
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0424
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 3313
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 001291

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PASS TO USAID AND OFDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREF PREL MOPS ASEC CASC EAID UG SU
SUBJECT: NORTHERN UGANDA NOTES (July 29 - AUG 10, 2007)

1. (U) Summary: The following Northern Uganda Notes provides
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.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PEACE AND RECONCILIATION PROCESSES
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (SBU) The Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Internal
Affairs, intends to carry out 10 consultative meetings throughout
Uganda between 20 August and 27 September 2007, culminating in a
meeting of legal experts and institutions in Kampala to develop
proposals for implementing the agreed principles on accountability
and reconciliation. USAID and the governments of the Netherlands,
Norway and Sweden will each contribute towards a total budget of
approximately USD 400,000 to cover the logistical and facilitation
costs of the consultations. USAID's contribution would be made
through modification of an existing contract with Associates for
Rural Development (ARD) for Strengthening Decentralization in Uganda
(SDU II).

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

3. (U) USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) has made an August
contribution to World Food Program (WFP)/Uganda which will allow WFP
to provide three-month resettlement rations to 70,000 IDPs in Pader
District. Other recent FFP contributions have allowed WFP to provide
resettlement rations to approximately 210,000 IDPs across northern
Uganda as the IDPs return home or to transit camps that are close to
their homes and allows them access to land for cultivation. This
August contribution will probably be the last contribution in FY07.
The total FY07 FFP contribution to date to WFP/Uganda is valued at
USD 44,349,500. The United States is the largest provider of food
aid to WFP/Uganda. As of the end of July, the United States provided
48 percent of WFP's resources in Uganda. Approximately one million
IDPs across northern Uganda still require food aid for survival.

4. (U) Economic opportunities in northern Uganda and investment
confidence are returning to northern Uganda after decades of
conflict. One local company, Mukwano Industries, with the support of
the USAID-funded Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Program
(APEP), has seized on an opportunity to source locally an
alternative to imported vegetable oil. The project focuses on a
hybrid variety of sunflower that produces twice the oil content per
acre as the traditional variety. To date, the 34,000 participating
farmers have witnessed their household income increase nearly 30
percent, with collective net earnings in the past three years of
more than USD 3.7 million. There are no signs that the sunflower
boom in northern Uganda will slow soon. Through collaboration with
international seed suppliers, a hybrid sunflower seed will be
produced in Uganda. Mukwano provides farmers a guaranteed market
and price for the hybrid variety. The company is investing in a
multi-million dollar oil processing plant in northern Uganda to
increase production.

5. (U) Jahal de Meritens, UNDP early recovery cluster expert,
arrived this week in Kampala to troubleshoot planning in the early
recovery sector, for which UNDP has the lead. De Meretens is a
former UNOCHA officer with broad regional experience. He will study
ways to improve UNDP operations in Northern Uganda and report to
Geneva with recommendations. De Meretens is traveling in Uganda and
has met with Embassy officers as part of his inquiries.

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

6. (U) As part of USAID support for reconstituting the police in
northern Uganda, U.S. Department of Justice's ICITAP conducted a
basic investigators course assessment from July 11 to July 26 in
Lira for police officers and police personnel. The course covered
community policing; crime scene investigation; rights of prisoners,
arrestees, women and children; police ethics and first aid to name a
few. The course was comprised of theory, practical exercises, and
lectures from experts.


KAMPALA 00001291 002 OF 002


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IN THE MEDIA AND THE WEB
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

7. (SBU) Conditions in the IDP camps continue to be followed by the
media. The July 31 Daily Monitor newspaper reported on a Makerere
University Refugee Law Project (RLP) report, "Rapid Assessment of
Population Movement in Gulu and Pader." The report noted that in
Lango most of the population has moved to decongestion sites, but
that this is not the case in Gulu and Kitgum. The newspaper quoted
from the report, noting that the GOU "has tended to present the
return process in Lango as representative of returns throughout the
whole of northern Uganda, and as 'evidence' that the humanitarian
situation has dramatically improved." The RLP's director noted
further that while there has not been forcible displacement of
people, cuts in food rations are having that effect, and that the
ration cuts are a result of a perception by donors that the conflict
has ended.

8. (U) The same paper carries an article, "Food Shortage Fueling
Prostitution in IDP Camps." Citing a speech by the director general
of the Uganda AIDS Commission, it is noted that young women were
turning to prostitution in order to get food. He added that HIV/AIDS
prevalence was found to be higher in areas affected by conflict.

9. (U) The media also provides coverage of the LRAs search for USD 2
million to fund a consultation process. In the July 31 New Vision
the LRA's spokesman, Martin Ojul, lashed out at the Permanent
Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior for saying that the

SIPDIS
demands for cash were "unreasonable and unrealistic, aimed at
delaying the peace process." Ojul accused the PM of making
"reckless and malicious political statements calculated at
maligning...the integrity of the LRA." While denying that the cash
was a precondition for continuing the talks, Ojul insisted that the
funds were needed to fund stakeholders' conferences and visits to
countries that had experienced similar conflict resolution
processes.
BROWNING

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