Cablegate: Northern Uganda Notes (November 3-30, 2007)

DE RUEHKM #1853/01 3410830
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E.O. 12958: N/A

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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2. (U) The LRA's negotiating team arrived in Kampala on November 1
and met with President Museveni on November 3. Museveni encouraged
the LRA members to sign a peace deal and said that the LRA would be
welcomed back into Uganda. The LRA delegates insisted that the
International Criminal Court (ICC) indictments be lifted.

3. (SBU) During the meeting, the Government and LRA extended the
Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CHA) until January 31. The CHA
extension would be reviewed on February 1.

4. (U) Patrick Opiyo Makasi, the LRA's chief of operations, fled
the LRA's Garamba Park hideout on October 2 after Joseph Kony
arrested his deputy, Vincent Otti, along with other top officers and
combatants. On November 1, Makasi and his wife applied for and were
granted amnesty after renouncing rebellion.

5. (U) Makasi detailed the rupture between Kony and Otti in the
press. He said Kony had invited Otti to a meeting at which he was
arrested. Makasi feigned illness and did not go. He fled the LRA
camp after being tipped off that he was to be arrested. Makasi said
that there were only 834 people in the LRA camp. Six hundred of
them were fighters, according to Makasi.

6. (U) LRA negotiators continued to deny allegations of LRA deputy
leader Otti's death during their consultations in Uganda. Northern
residents demanded to hear Otti's voice on the radio and refused to
participate in consultations at Rikwangba, the last stage of the LRA
meetings, until Kony clarified Otti's fate. Kony refused to appear
on the radio, but instead called Gulu District Chairman Norbert Mao
and claimed that Otti was under arrest, not dead.

7. (U) Another group of LRA defectors confirmed that Otti was
killed on October 2 on orders from Kony. The group reached U.N.
peacekeepers on November 18 and included Sunday Otto, Richard Okema,
and Odong-kau. They claimed that senior LRA officers Ben Accelam,
Otim Record, and Swaib Adjumani were killed alongside Otti.

8. (U) The LRA completed its consultations in the north and then
proceeded to western and central Uganda. The overwhelming message
was for the LRA to sign a peace deal and return home. Northern
opinion remained decidedly anti-ICC, but in areas such as Lango and
Teso there was more popular support for a legal trial than in Acholi

9. (U) During its delegation meeting with Museveni, the LRA
requested that Uganda petition the International Criminal Court to
suspend the arrest warrants for the indicted LRA leaders. The
delegates asserted that the warrants should be suspended for 12
months to allow Joseph Kony to sign a comprehensive peace agreement.
Religious, cultural, and local leaders support the suspension of
the warrants and advocate traditional justice methods to restore
relationships with communities.

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10. (U) USAID Northern Uganda Advisor reports that population
movement was expected to increase in the next few months (the dry
season) in the LRA affected areas. Three patterns of movement will
likely continue: (1) IDPs moving collectively to transit or
satellite camps (2) IDPs moving directly to their homesteads, and
(3) IDPs remaining in camps or trading centers. Due to close
proximity of many IDPs to their land, the latter group could be 30
percent of camp population or higher. This challenges the
traditional view among the humanitarian community of IDP return
followed by reintegration. In northern Uganda, because of the close
proximity of many IDPs to home, there would likely be a
reintegration followed by return. The need for basic services such
as water, education, healthcare and roads remains the same. If

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focus is placed on providing reintegration assistance, the return
should take care of itself.

11. (U) The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
successfully employed the use of radio to educate IDP's about
returning home. UNHCR broadcast programs about security, education,
health, and gender based violence on Mega and ChoiceFM, the major
radio stations in Gulu area. Henry Leafe, Office Director of UNHCR
in Gulu stated that radio was the most effective means of mass
communication in rural communities.

12. (U) Empowering Hands, a Gulu-based non-governmental
organization, petitioned the UN to place greater emphasis on the
plight of child abductees forced into child soldiering around the
world. Former abductees who escaped the LRA founded the
organization. Empowering Hands reintegrates escapees and freed
children into their communities and provides counseling and

13. (U) Caritas, a Catholic non-governmental organization,
sponsored the surgery of 36 victims of the LRA from November 22-23.
The patients had lost arms, ears, lips and other body parts during
the insurgency of the LRA. They were from various sub- counties in
the north. The Government of Uganda stated that it would sponsor a
similar event next year at Mulago Hospital.

14. (U) USG Activities: USAID Uganda's $9.2 million three-year
Rural Savings Promotion and Enhancement of Enterprise Development
(Rural SPEED) ended on 9 November. This concluded a decade of
Mission exclusive support to the micro, small and medium enterprise
(MSME) finance industry during which USAID leadership influenced the
robust and rapid growth of the MSME sector. USAID's partnership
with the private sector achieved several successes in the micro and
small finance industry.

15. (U) The Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) program was launched in
all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and villages where
former IDPs are returning to their homes in northern Amuru district
last week. This program targets 110,000 households to be sprayed
with Government of Uganda-approved synthetic pyrethroids (ICON-WP)
and will protect approximately 420,000 people from malaria. The
program was officially launched by the Honorable Dr. Steven
Mallinga, the Minister of Health, who informed the public that IRS
conducted in Uganda with President's Malaria Initiative (PMI)
support reduces the malaria burden in Western and Northern Uganda.
In the next two months the northern districts of Gulu, Oyam and Apac
will also be sprayed. In 2008, 15 districts in Uganda will benefit
from the PMI IRS spraying.
16. (U) USG Activities: The CJTF HOA civil affairs team started the
construction of a children's ward for the Kitgum Referral Hospital.
The children's ward will be 240 square meters and house a small
clinic and have wards for maternity, delivery, and pediatric.
Construction on a library in Kitgum has also started. Work
continues on providing clean drinking water to Northern Uganda and
contracts to drill several wells have been finalized. In January, a
veterinarian civil affairs project will be conducted in Gulu
District and parts of Amuru District. This project will provide
inoculation against several common diseases for cows, pigs, goats,
and dogs.

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17. (U) On November 13, Onen Kamdulu, a former LRA director of
0perations, was arrested for aggravated robbery in Gulu. Kamadulu
was detained with former LRA members Maj. Thomas Opiyo, UPDF
Lieutenant Odongkara Ajiba, and four other individuals. They were
charged with robbing Sunday Opayat in Anganga village, Akokoro
sub-county. Kamadulu was one of the key state witnesses against FDC
leader Kizza Besigye.
18. (U) The Bon Ayom area of Pader District remains tense after a
series of robberies, freshly planted land mines, and the killing of
two members of local defense units (LDU) occurred in a one-month
period. UPDF are patrolling the area. There have been no reported
incidents since October 30. U.N. security will undertake an
assessment to determine when travel restrictions can be lifted.
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19. (U) "Kony Eats Otti's Penis," headlined the tabloid newspaper
"Saturday Red Pepper" on 17 November. The article cited unnamed

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intelligence sources, who claimed to have obtained information from
sources close to Kony, regarding Otti's alleged post-execution fate.
According to these reports, a Gulu-based "witchdoctor" was brought
to Garamba, accompanied by a white goat suitable for sacrifice. In
Garamba, rituals were undertaken with Otti's body parts (and the
goat's) with the intent of containing Otti's ghost. Kony, as
executioner, has reason to fear retribution by Otti's reincarnated

20. (U) The "Red Pepper" specializes in sensationalist stories, and
often (usually) pushes the boundaries of accepted journalistic
practice. However, the paper does have sources in the Ugandan
security/military establishment. Kony's history of using ritual and
claims of contact with spirit mediums also lends some credence to
the story.

21. (U) On November 19, "The East African" headlined "Exile for
Kony the Best Option for Peace in Northern Uganda," citing an
October 29 report by the Enough Project, "What To Do With Joseph
Kony?" The Enough Project report, authored by John Prendergast, said
that "the time to strike a deal was now." The report presents three
options for dealing with Kony. The first would have Kony agreeing to
return to Uganda, where he would face serious domestic justice
mechanisms meeting local needs and international standards. The
second option would be asylum in a third country, and the third
option would be his arrest.

22. (U) "A credible military option, involving regional states,
the UN missions in Sudan and Congo, and governments willing to offer
equipment and personnel, combined with a sustained, high-level
diplomatic push directed at Kony, might provide the essential
ingredient and leverage to get the job done," according to the
report. The report also recommended that the State Department
remove Kony from its Terrorist List if Kony signed a peace

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