UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK- On July 15th, 2009, Former Mozambique President Chissano addressed the UN Security Council giving his recommendations for the way forward regarding the LRA insurgency. Earlier in the year it was reported that Chissano, the head of the UN Envoy for LRA Affected Areas would no longer continue his roleand that the Kampala office would be closing due to the standstill in the Juba Peace Talks.
Below is an except from the Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Security-General.
Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Security-General
The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Lords Resistance Army-affected areas, Joaquim Chissano, briefed the Security Council in consultations this morning. It was his last briefing to the Council, as he steps down from the position to which he was appointed in December 2006.
Chissano shared his observations about the state of the Juba peace process and the impact of the military operations by Uganda and countries of the region against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which followed the failure of LRA leader Joseph Kony to sign the Final Peace Agreement.
Chissano said the operations had uprooted and disrupted the LRA, and represented a new determination by regional countries to collectively deal with the dangers posed by the LRA. But he also noted that the operations had triggered “vicious” LRA reprisals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Southern Sudan.
Chissano said the LRA leader had given the impression that he has little interest in the peace process. But Chissano also stressed that opportunities for peaceful re-engagement with the LRA should be pursued alongside military action. Kony’s direct engagement would be the measure of the credibility of any discussions, Chissano said.
Chissano also said the peace agreements should be implemented no matter the prevailing circumstances. He noted that within northern Uganda people are already experiencing the dividends of peace and that those dividends should be consolidated.
Following consultations, the Security Council President, Uganda’s Ambassador, delivered an oral press statement.
He said Council members: commended Chissano’s work; called on the LRA to seize the opportunities to sign the Final Peace Agreement; and appreciated Chissano’s readiness to be available when the time comes for signing the Final Peace Agreement.
Question: On Mr. Chissano, a couple of us tried to speak with him after his briefing, but he was unable to speak…
Spokesperson: Yes, he doesn’t feel well. Actually he went to the briefing anyway this morning, but he was not … he was scheduled to have a stakeout with you but he could not do it. He is not in good health right now.
Question: So ‑‑ I’m sorry to hear that ‑‑ that’s why I’ll ask you and maybe you will know, and maybe you won’t. Is the office he is maintaining in Kampala, is that now closing down?
Spokesperson: From what I gather, yes.
Question: Because you said, because they’ve tried to say that he’ll still be sort of in waiting in case Kony reappears. But you’ve said that he’s stepping down. What is his role? Is he going to retain any UN role after today?
Spokesperson: Well, not at this point. There might be something in the future. But there is none at this point.
Question: And I guess I wanted to add, I would have asked him this, but Jan Egeland when he was here had said that the UN should somehow keep up mediation, that despite how bleak it looks with Joseph Kony not speaking, what’s the … some have said that by him stepping down just means that military is the only solutions. What’s the UN’s‑‑
Spokesperson: No, it doesn’t mean that. It means simply that the usual roads for mediation were closed; what we had set up could not work out. So we stopped what had become useless.
Question: Are there other attempts by the UN…
Spokesperson: I am sure there are. But I cannot comment on anything more.
The full briefing can be found at: http://www.un.org//News/briefings/docs/2009/db090715.doc.htm