Friday, July 21, 2006

LRA should drop unrealistic demands

July 20 2006 New Vision Online report excerpt:
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has made several demands at the on-going peace talks in Juba. Among others, they want the scrapping of UPDF and a power sharing arrangement. These demands are untenable.

What the LRA should insist on is integration of ex-fighters who qualify and wish to join the army. The Government would have no problem with this as it has done it in the past. For example, in June 2004 hundreds of ex-LRA fighters were integrated into the UPDF, after training, at a ceremony witnessed by the army chief, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima. Earlier, fighters from other armed groups like FEDEMU, UFM, WNBF, FOBA and UNLA were integrated. This alone makes the UPDF national in character.

It would be a joke, for example, if the LRA demanded that their leaders be made Vice-President, Prime Minister or ministers in the validly elected government in Kampala. Their demands should centre on personal security, re-integration in the community and resettlement packages.

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