Conflict In Northern Uganda - IRProject08g.WordPress.com

Date: 
Sep 18, 2008
Author: 
Frank Stiefel and Lisa Farrell

http://irproject08g.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/conflict-in-northern-uganda/

In the 1980s Alice Lakwena believed that God had ordered her to overthrow the Ugandan government for being unjust to the Acholi people. So she created the Holy Spirit Movement, which waged war against the government of Uganda. After Alice was exiled from the country, Joseph Kony, claiming to be her cousin, took power and transformed the Movement into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Kony did not obtain as much public support as Lakwena did because of his harsher tactics; therefore, beginning to abduct children for his army. In 1996, the Ugandan government put many communities into youth camps in order to protect them better but this only created poverty and disease. In 2001, the US declared the LRA as a terrorist organization. In 2004, the Congress passed the Northern Ugandan Crisis Response Act. In 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Kony and some of his other leading commanders. In 2007, the US appointed Tim Shortly to be an advisor for the Crisis Response Act. In April 2008, Kony failed to sign a peace treaty ending the war between the LRA and the Ugandan government. The war continues today.

Although, the U.S. has done alot already in order to help stop what the L.R.A. has been doing, the conflict is still far from over. It is important for the U.S. and the rest of the international community to find other ways of negotiating with Kony in order to stop the atrocities occuring in Northern Uganada. As Julia Spiegel and John Prendergast suggest the U.S. should “should sponsor a resolution through the United Nations Security Council to investigate diaspora members undermining peace efforts, and then provide information to the council to expedite further action by the Council” (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/05/uganda_new_strategy.html). Prendergast and Spiegel also suggest that the U.S. along with the rest of the international community give Kony an opportunity to go into exile. The U.S. seems most interested in helping Uganda with its economy (African Growth and Opportunity Act) and getting support from the country in fighintg its “war on terror”, but no where in the state departments website does it specifically say that it is planning to implement sanctions to help stop the L.R.A. in Northern Uganda (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2963.htm).