Recent peace talks in Uganda with leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have not stopped the killing or abductions of children. This fall, three unarmed international aid workers in northern Uganda died during different attacks blamed on the LRA. In response, government forces have stepped up military operations in the region.
In the meantime, efforts for a peace accord move forward slowly at best. Rory Anderson, senior Africa policy adviser for World Vision, believes American evangelicals can influence the peace process in the same way they have pressed for peace in southern Sudan. She spoke recently with Timothy Morgan, ct's deputy managing editor.
What's been happening with peace talks with the Lord's Resistance Army?
The most recent round with [Uganda's negotiator] Betty Bigombe has the confidence of the Lord's Resistance Army as well as the government of Uganda. People are more optimistic. There are always starts and stops. Peace talks take time. The conflict has been going on for 18 years.
Is the fighting still going on?
It tends to be sporadic. We see times when there are ceasefires and lulls because the LRA is being pressured. They're not getting their regular supplies of armaments and food. These kids in the LRA are hungry. They're forced to attack civilians even during peace negotiations.
Has support for the LRA come from Sudan?
Yes, it is very well established. [Sudan] never openly acknowledged it. The LRA was based inside southern Sudan. The Ugandan army went into southern Sudan and found evidence that the Sudanese government was actually providing weapons and food. It's the same government that is also continuing war in Darfur.
What is the overall situation for the people of northern Uganda?
It's a humanitarian ...1