|Concerned About Peace
The latest news about the conflict around Northern Uganda indicates that the Lord’s Resistance Army continues to attack, kill and abduct many in DRC Congo and Sudan villages. In November 2008, LRA leader Joseph Kony failed to show up for the final peace deal signing after two years of peace negotiations between the LRA and the Ugandan Government. The negotiations that started in Juba, Sudan in July 2006 failed to reach the desired end. The talks presented high prospects of peacefully ending two decades of war and people in Northern Uganda were hopeful for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Life for the last two years had returned to near-normal. A military offensive against the LRA was launched in December 2008 by the governments of Uganda, DR-Congo and Southern Sudan as the LRA continued their attacks, killing and abducting hundreds in what is now a regional conflict. The new episodes of violence are disheartening to many. But for Concerned Parents Association (CPA) Uganda, the renewed conflict around Northern Uganda has intensified their resolve in advocacy efforts.
CPA- Uganda was formed by a group of parents affected by the abduction of children by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) in Northern Uganda. CPA is a child focused organization that advocates for the rights of children and families affected by war in Northern Uganda with a structure that works through Parents' Support Groups. Their advocacy work speaks for the release of all abducted children and child soldiers; Rehabilitation of released children with a focus on health and education; for peace in Uganda; and influencing national policy on child protection. CPA has identified Pressure for peaceful conflict resolution as a priority area of advocacy for the next two years. The pressure for peaceful conflict resolution in Northern Uganda is mounting and CPA carries this mandate with a sense of urgency.
For CPA, all is not lost even with the collapse of the Juba Peace Initiative where some terms of negotiation had been agreed upon by the two parties and exist in writing. CPA as part of the Civil Society Organizations for Peace in Northern Uganda (CSOPNU) steering committee participated in developing proposals for taking forward the signed Juba peace agreements. In order to support the achievements made by the Juba Peace Initiative, CPA will further analyse the signed Juba agreements from a child rights perspective in order to inform policy makers and influence the implementation of certain provisions of the agreements. Some provisions that directly or indirectly affect the recovery of children affected by conflict can proceed even without signing of the Final Peace Agreement .
CPA Uganda still holds the strong view that a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Northern Uganda is the only viable option. In that light, CPA will work towards encouraging local and international community as well as the Government to uphold the torch of peace till a final agreement is made and communities resettled to their original homes. CPA views advocacy at local, regional and international level on emerging issues as within their mandate. Now more than ever, they seek to engage more the local, regional and international institutions for peaceful resolution of the northern Uganda conflict.
Information adopted from an advocacy concept paper by Sylvia Opinia of CPA-Uganda.Back