Between Hope and Fear in Northern Uganda
Challenges on the ground and an urgent need for peace
Uganda is at a critical point in its history. After over 20 years of cyclical conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda, the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement signed on 26 August 2006 and last extended on 16 December 2006 has given new hope to conflict affected communities that peace may finally prevail. While there is no explicit deadline to the agreement, the signatories agree that the “implementation of the agreement shall be reviewed at the end of February 2007."
There is widespread fear in affected communities that this could signal a lapse in the agreement and a return to violence. As negotiations appear to be at an impasse it is vitally important that the parties come together as soon as possible to reaffirm their commitment to the ceasefire. Peace talks must be resumed before it is too late and the apparent deadlock reaches the point of no return.