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Dispatch from Uganda

Peace talks continue in Juba, Sudan, between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Ngomrom faults the Government of Uganda and Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) of lacking seriousness in the talks with the LRA:

Why would anybody even consider that the peace talks proceed with ICC threat unresolved? Museveni, has to provide conditions to keep the ICC away from Kony and his commanders, otherwise there will be no peace involving those five men. These two issues are mutually exclusive. Without these men, there must be modified peace talks, becasue the people of Uganda in the affected areas still need peace from the government of Museveni. Twenty years of oppression and mistrust cannot be wiped out by mere signing of documents in Juba.

Meanwhile, Uganda-CAN warns that there are nearly unnoticed security challenges in the eastern region of Karamoja, where small arms proliferation is rampant. Uganda-CAN indicates that these small arms cross the border from Sudan and threaten to spill over into northern Uganda:

While peace talks between the Ugandan government and LRA rebels continue, lawlessness and violence is flaring up in the east almost unnoticed. Per Engebak, director of Unicef for east and southern Africa, said even if a peace deal is signed, violence in Uganda's eastern Karamoja region threatens to spill over into the war-weary north.

In more hopeful news, Basawad's Safari Notes has an encouraging story about the recovery of Uganda's tourism industry through the lens of Bwindi National Park, in western Uganda:

Not all stories are bad. Some are good. Some very good and encouraging. One such very encouraging story is that of Bwindi; Bwindi National Park, Uganda. Bwindi's recovery as a major tourist attraction, is a reflection of the recovery of Uganda's tourism industry.

During the Idi Amin years and the unsettled years after that, many thought that Uganda would never recover as an attractive tourist destination. Many too, thought, that most of the attraction – wildlife in particular – would no longer be much of an attraction for tourists.

Openminded.com writes a critique of Andrew Mwenda's Prison Notes. Mwenda is Uganda's most prominent journalist, who was arrested briefly in August 2005 for speculating about the cause of death of Sudan's southern leader Vice-President John Garang:

Mwenda’s serialization of his ‘prison’ experience is a true expression of the old dictum that “History is always written by the victors”. Mwenda is spot on when he writes that, if you look at the statute books in Uganda, the legal regime governing the media reads like it was drawn by a committee of five dangerous men-Adolf Hitler, Benitto Musolini, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin and Pol Pot. However, in first part titled “Background of my arrest”, Mwenda tactfully leaves out the details of whole story: He doesn’t write what exactly he said on Radio that prompted government to arrest him. As a person who listened to the programme live on 10th August 2005 and later read the transcription of the whole programme in The Sunday Vision of 14th August, 2005, I find Mwenda’s prison notes lacking and strategically designed to tilt public opinion in his favour.

In an African Minute writes about his “delicious” experience at an Ethiopian restaurant in Uganda:

The hierarchy of Ethiopian restaurants in Kabalagala goes like this: If you want to impress a girl or have a taste for swank, you go to Fasika Up the road is Ethiopian Village, a moderately priced restaurant and bar. Few venture beyond luminaries on the Kabalagala scene. However, down the road, nestled between two local dive bars, lies, as J. Slab would say, the epicenter of delicious.

Rehobot is a humble spot. It hosts 4 tables and a pool table, and is presided over by Mamma, with her two deputies, her 9-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son. Mama makes beef and vegetarian miracles with the fundamental elements of Ethiopian cuisine: injara (spongy sourdough flatbread), berbere (strong red chili powder) and niter kebbeh (light butter spiced with ginger and garlic).

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