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Cablegate: Northern Uganda Notes (August 25 - September 7, 2007)

VZCZCXRO5328
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1435/01 2551216
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121216Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9359
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0650
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0439
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 3349
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KAMPALA 001435

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 (AUGUST 25 - SEPTEMBER 7, 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.

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PEACE AND RECONCILIATION PROCESSES
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2. (SBU) As part of his ongoing efforts to help advance the peace
process, U.N. Special Envoy for LRA Affected Areas Joachim Chissano
met with President Francis Bozize of the Central African Republic on
August 24. Chissano then proceeded to Juba to consult with the
Government of Southern Sudan mediator, Riek Machar. President Yoweri
Museveni also met with Bozize on August 23 and reportedly received
assurances that the LRA would not be allowed to use CAR territory
for sanctuary.

3. (SBU) On August 27, Minister of Internal Affairs Ruhakana Rugunda
announced that the GOU would be mobilizing 350 million USD for a
reparations fund to help victims of the LRA. Funds were expected to
come from donors. Rugunda said that the funds for the three-year
project were aimed at the overall development of victims'
communities. He emphasized that individuals would not receive
payments.

4. (SBU) According to a survey entitled "New Population Based Data
on Attitudes about Peace and Justice," northerners indicate that
health (45.2 percent), peace (44.1 percent), livelihood concerns -
land, food, money, and education remain their top priorities. The
survey of eight northern Ugandan districts was conducted by the
University of California Berkeley's Human Rights Center which
interviewed 2,875 northerners in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Oyam, Lira,
Soroti, and Amuria from April to June 2007. Other key findings
include: only three percent of the respondents mentioned justice as
a priority, but 70 percent said it was important to hold accountable
those who committed human rights violations. A majority (76
percent) said that pursuing trials prior to the conclusion of the
peace talks would endanger the peace process.

5. (SBU) During the Government of Uganda consultations in Gulu,
Adjumani, Soroti and Lira, the desire for a truth commission was
repeated many times. There was considerable support for the use of
traditional mechanisms instead of formal justice. Northern
residents in these districts stressed the importance of peace and
reconciliation. Some residents favored punitive justice. A UNOCHA
observer described the meetings as highly successful, well-
structured, and actively involving participants. The national
consultations will continue until the end of September.

6. (SBU) Africa Bureau Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer traveled
to Uganda from September 4-5 and met with President Museveni and
northern leaders. She was accompanied by Tim Shortley, Senior
Advisor for Conflict Resolution, who remained behind to meet with
GOU negotiators, donors, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
and military officials. He traveled to Juba to meet with GOSS
mediators and UN officials.

7. (SBU) USG Activities: Senator Russell Feingold visited Uganda
from August 26-30. Feingold met with President Museveni, Minister
of Defense, Government negotiators, parliamentarians, local elected
and religious leaders and internally displaced persons. During a
visit to Onangko IDP camp, residents expressed a strong desire to
return home. Discussions centered on security reform, particularly
deployment of civilian police, disarmament, demobilization, and
reintegration of the LRA.

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HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY
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8. (SBU) Local northern leaders continue in their rhetoric against
"non-performing" non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in
Northern Uganda. During a dinner to celebrate the passing of the
2007/2008 budget, Gulu District Chairman Norbert Mao announced that
he and the Vice Chairman of the Acholi Parliamentary Group, Reagan
Okumu, would be opening "war" against poorly functioning NGOs. Mao
asserted that NGOs target Gulu and other northern districts to raise
funds. He argued that this insincerity leads to poor service for

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Ugandans. On August 24, Mao ousted the Spanish arm of Medecins San
Frontiers from Gulu. He claimed that the organization provided the
community of Omoro County, Gulu with outdated tuberculosis
medication and unauthorized HIV/AIDS medication. WHO has
investigated and found MSF to be providing treatment in line with
national protocols.

9. (SBU) UNOCHA launched the 2008 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP)
August 21-22. United Nations agencies, international and national
(NGOs), donors, Government of Uganda ministries and departments, and
representatives from 12 districts in the Acholi, Lango, Teso and
Karamoja sub-regions participated. Humanitarian and transition
priorities for 2008 include:

-- Education: support for the rehabilitation of
schools, construction of staff quarters and return of

displaced schools;
--Health: maintenance of health centers in camps.
Increased staffing, rehabilitation of health units and
construction of staff quarters and provision of health services in
the parishes of return;
--Water and sanitation: distribution of sanitation kits, maintenance
of facilities and hygiene promotion;
--Livelihoods: food aid in camps, especially for EVIs, camp
rehabilitation as IDPs move out, phasing down food aid in transit
camps and stepping up production, intensified livelihood
diversification and expanded production;
--Protection: re-establishment of rule of law; disarmament and
demobilization of local defense units (LDUs); DDR of "reporters";
-- Community development: psychological interventions,
strengthening of government
structures, youth employment/skills development, combating
environmental degradation.

10. (SBU) The New Vision newspaper reported that Rotary Club
International will sponsor over 100 local doctors and doctors from
India to treat victims of the LRA. The Indian doctors have also
successfully treated patients in Tanzania, Lesotho, and Swaziland.
The treatment will take place at seven hospitals in Gulu, Kitgum,
Pader, Apac, Lira and Oyam districts. A conference entitled,
"Access to Surgical Service" followed on August 30.

11. (SBU) The reopening of the Coorom Primary School in Barlonyo,
Lango District demonstrates the challenges ahead in return areas.
The renewal of classes coincided with the influx of returning IDPs.
However, Coorom like many other schools already lacks sufficient
supplies, books, and teachers. Some argue that the reestablishment
of such communities is premature, because GOU resources are
stretched thin and can not meet the growing educational needs of
returning IDPs.

12. (SBU) USG Activities: A U.S. Department of Labor funded program,
KURET, continued to help war and HIV/AIDS affected children who are
vulnerable to labor exploitation. On August 28, Marjorie Lagen,
Project Manager, stated that KURET's current objective was to
educate and train up to 8,100 children in the north. This would
remove children from exploitative labor situations. KURET currently
provides students with scholarships, health and psychological
counseling, and training for teachers to manage trauma affected
children.

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IN THE MEDIA AND THE WEB
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13. (U) Vincent Otti, the LRA's second-in-command, lashed out
against the ICC during a recent telephone interview with the Daily
Monitor. Otti declared that the ICC aims to squash opposition to
bad governments. Moreover, he accused the ICC of a double standard
because the court does not prosecute current presidents who
participate in criminal activity. Otti argued that this
quasi-immunity also applies to the former National Resistance Army
(NRA), which brought Museveni to power, and UPDF commanders.

14. (U) A/S Frazer's visit to Uganda received extensive press
coverage. A/S Frazer expressed U.S. support for the ongoing peace
talks in Juba, but warned that the negotiations would not be
open-ended. "Make peace quickly or we'll be coming after you, US
tells Kony," headlined the Nairobi based "The East African." The
same paper also said that "Marines will hunt down LRA rebels if
talks fail." Walter Ochora, Gulu Resident District Commission, is
quoted as saying "We did not push for that position in our meeting

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with Dr. Frazer... The U.S. government supports the peace talks, but
they don't want endless talks." Ochora also noted that the Assistant
Secretary had committed U.S. support for recovery in the north,

SIPDIS
saying that, "The government of the U.S. is going to support the
resettlement programme fully. This programme is very expensive, it
is going to cost about $500 million, but she assured us that her
government will support this programme substantially." The
government-controlled "New Vision" newspaper led with the more
restrained, "U.S. Wants Deadline for Talks."

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