95 doubt the governments capacity to win the war and

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95doubt the government’s capacity to win the war and bring about peace on its own. Itseemed that the government had boxed itself into a corner because of President Museveni’srepeated declarations that Kony would be defeated militarily. It became impossible forMuseveni to concede that he could not. Meanwhile, military victory had not been easyto deliver because the army was riddled with command and control problems, corruptionand inefficiency. It was demotivated and, as a result of its failures, unable to win thehearts and minds of the local populations.Some of the government’s failed moves are telling. In August 1986, Museveni went toGulu to address the people of Acholiland about the rebel war, roundly condemning theformer UNLA soldiers and vowing to wipe them out with guns.He swore never to talkpeace with the ‘criminals who have no cause to fight for’, and utterly refused to listen tocomplaints from the Acholi elders about the iron-fisted tactics of his own soldiers.Systematic attempts then ensued to implement this vow by way of various militarymanoeuvres, none of which succeeded.After these unsuccessful military episodes, the local Acholi leaders began to pressurize thegovernment to pass an Amnesty Act. Amnesty was advocated out of two genuineconcerns—the trend the conflict was taking, with no apparent viable end in sight; andthe moral imperative to provide an outlet for the victims who were abducted against theirwill. Parliament then passed the Amnesty Act of 2000, establishing the AmnestyCommission to facilitate the return and reintegration of ex-combatants into the nationalarmy or civilian life. The rationale has been to stem the widespread fear of prosecution,borrowing largely from traditional approaches that emphasize ‘forgiveness’. To date,23,000 people have benefited from the amnesty, of whom 2,000 were from the AlliedDemocratic Forces (ADF) rebels but the majority engaged in activities related to theLRA.Box 5: The Ugandan Amnesty Act, 2000, (Cap. 294, Laws of Uganda), Entry into force 21 January 2000An Act to provide for an amnesty for Ugandans involved in acts of a warlike nature in various parts ofthe country and for other connected purposes.Declaration of amnesty.(1) An amnesty is declared in respect of any Ugandan who has at any time since the 26th day ofJanuary 1986, engaged in or is engaging in war or armed rebellion against the government of theRepublic of Uganda by –(a) actual participation in combat;(b) collaborating with the perpetrators of the war or armed rebellion;(c) committing any other crime in the furtherance of the war or armed rebellion; or(d) assisting or aiding the conduct or prosecution of the war or armed rebellion.(2) A person referred to under subsection (1) shall not be prosecuted or subjected to any form ofpunishment for the participation in the war or rebellion for any crime committed in the cause of thewar or armed rebellion.

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Term
Spring
Professor
OKOTH GIFT
Tags
Rwandan Genocide, Sierra Leone

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