The United Nations Security Council members are currently negotiating the release on a presidential statement on Uganda related to the current peace talks and humanitarian issues.
A summary of the Security Council discussions, released today, indicate that it is still unclear what position the Council will take on the justice and reconciliation dilemma in northern Uganda and the related issue of arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the leadership of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). According to the Council papers because of the complexity of the issue, it is possible that for now, members will only be able to agree on a more general resolution showing support for accountability for those responsible for serious violations of human rights.
The proposed Security Council presidential statement on Uganda is the result of a November 7th briefing from the UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, on the status of the peace talks in Juba, south Sudan. While underlining challenges the talks currently face, Gambari reportedly stressed that the current negotiations are the most promising initiative so far for a solution to the 20-year conflict in Northern Uganda. He also suggested that the Council consider a statement expressing support for the talks.
In a separate development, UN officials are reporting that the United Nations Secretariat seems to have reached an agreement with the Ugandan government on the terms of reference for a UN Special Envoy on Northern Uganda. The Special Envoy's proposed mandate is quite comprehensive, covering issues related to the situation in northern Uganda, the regional dimension of the conflict and the peace talks.
It is unclear when the final announcement on the Special Envoy position will be made.
Member of the United Nations Security Council have previously been reluctant to discuss openly the situation in northern Uganda, displaying a degree of caution at the outset of the Juba talks.
However, momentum for a Council statement seems to have increased with the recent signing of an addendum to the northern Uganda ceasefire agreement, in which both the Government of Uganda and the LRA recommitted to finding a lasting solution to the conflict.
According to UN documents, the UK, in particular, seems to have made several attempts to have the issue included in a statement or a resolution.
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