Vigilante groups have been successful in providing local security. But subcontracting security functions to vigilante groups for counter-insurgency purposes is a dangerous option for fragile African states. African leaders should set clear objectives and mandates when enlisting vigilantes and invest in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programs.
Over 100 MPs from ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and NRM-leaning independents 12 Sept said they would support tabling bill in parliament that seeks to remove constitutional presidential age limit, which prevents President Museveni from running for sixth term in 2021. Small group of MPs from NRM, opposition and independents 13 Sept vowed to block any attempt to remove age limit. Legislators abandoned first attempt to introduce bill to remove age limit 21 Sept after opposition MPs disrupted session by singing national anthem in protest against extra security procedures; lord mayor of Kampala placed under house arrest on suspicion of inciting protest; police clashed with university students protesting bill. Opposition Forum for Democratic Change leader Kizza Besigye arrested 26 Sept before second attempt to table bill in parliament. Parliamentary speaker 26 Sept abandoned second attempt after MPs fought in parliament; fighting broke out again 27 Sept but NRM tabled bill. Protests against bill also held outside Kampala, including in Mbale, Mbarara, Arua and Masaka.
Unless President Yoweri Museveni breaks with the ways of his predecessors and the trend of his own lengthy rule, popular protests and discontent will grow in Uganda.
To make an end of the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) once and for all, national armies, the UN and civilians need to pool intelligence and coordinate their efforts in new and creative ways.
The Juba peace process, intended to bring closure to the northern Uganda conflict and disarm Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is failing. On 29 November, Kony failed again to appear at the Ri-Kwangba assembly point to sign the Final Peace Agreement (FPA).
Peace talks between the Ugandan government and the insurgent Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) are moving in the right direction, but the core issues – justice, security and livelihoods – are still to be resolved and require difficult decisions, including on the fate of LRA leaders whom the International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted.
With peace negotiations due to restart in the southern Sudanese town of Juba on 26 April, the ten-month-old peace process between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government still has a chance of ending one of Africa’s longest, most brutal conflicts.
President Museveni will naturally defend Uganda’s short-term interests, but he should also work towards longer-term stability by supporting President Salva Kiir’s pledge to bring peace through ARCSS implementation, negotiations and national dialogue.
Originally published in Daily Monitor
Originally published in The Africa Report
Thierry Vircoulon, Directeur du projet Afrique centrale, discute les solutions possibles pour améliorer la crise dans les Kivus.