President Chissano and UN Envoy for LRA Affected Areas Visits ARLPI

GULU, NORTHERN UGANDA-On August 17, 2008 Former Mozambique President Chissano, the head of the United Nations Envoy for LRA Affected Areas, met with ARLPI to discuss the current state of the Juba Peace Talks.


Seated at the residence of Catholic Archbishop Odama, current chairman of ARLPI, those in attendance shared their views on how to move forward given the apparent ‘stalemate’.  


ARLPI presented Chissano and his team with a document containing the positive outcomes, the challenges and recommendations regarding the continuation of the Juba Peace Talks.


Archbishop Odama stated, “We need to advocate for and focus on non-military action and identify ways to foster the building of trust and confidence between the LRA and GoU so that the Final Agreement will be signed.”

Chissano applauded the religious leaders for the role in which they have played to bring peace to Northern Uganda and assured the religious leaders that their views will be considered when preparing his report for the United Nations.


Positive Outcomes

            In the process of the Juba Peace Talks, great success has been registered because the two parties i.e. Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Government of Uganda (GoU) discussed and signed the five Agenda Items with then exception of the Final Peace Agreement. The roles played by observers (religious, cultural and local leaders) have to be commended.

            The success of the Juba Peace Talks has been attributed to the two parties under the mediation of Dr. Riek Machar on behalf of Government of Southern Sudan, witnessed and endorsed by the UN Peace Envoy to the LRA war-affected areas former President Joachim Chissano.

            The people of northern Uganda and Southern Sudan have been experiencing relative peace and calm since the Juba Peace Process began in July, 2006. For instance, there has not been major violation of the Cessation of Hostilities by either side of the conflict.

            We also commend the election of Uganda as a non – permanent member of UN Security Council. We hope this will enable her to address the issues of International Criminal Court.


Whereas the Final Peace Agreement has not yet been signed, we the Religious Leaders of Acholi would like to recommend the following:


a.      All stakeholders and well-wishers, locally, nationally, and internationally should holdfast to this process until its final conclusion.


b.      The UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon to renew the terms of the UN Special Envoy to the LRA war-affected areas, Dr. Joachim Chissano.

c.      Any regional military intervention against the LRA has to be critically analyzed to avoid negative impact on the peace process and the relative peace currently being experienced.

d.      The UN Security Council to continue supporting the Chief mediator, Dr. Riek Machar in order to enable him to keep the Juba Peace process on track.

e.      The Commander of LRA Joseph Kony should the Juba Peace Talks and show his commitment by signing the Final Peace Agreement, and to avoid any further violation of human rights, being reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan.

f.        Any provocative statements or actions that could either escalate or frustrate the current situation be avoided by all stakeholders and well-wishers.


            In all of these efforts our primary objectives and ultimate goal is that, the Final Peace Agreement should be signed to pave way for genuine reconciliation, healing and transformation for sustainable peace in the war affected regions.

We-need to advocate for and focus on non - military action identifying ways and foster building of trust and confidence between the LRA and GoU.


            What are our primary objective and the ultimate goal in all of these efforts?

            Will our efforts eventually lead to genuine reconciliation that will bring sustainable peace, healing, transformation, and salvation to all those affected by war and violence?


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Jul 9, 2009, 2:14 AM