The political scene in Uganda has been defined by continued ethnic and regional divisions especially the divide between the North and the South of the country. Armed rebellion by the country's several rebel groups has resorted to the main means of expression for the various socio-economical and political problems faced by the country.
For more than two decades, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from the North of the country has been at war with the central government of Uganda. The LRA did not garner much support from the local Acholi (northern Uganda's largest cultural group) people and soon resorted to their raiding villages to maintain supplies and as many as 66,000 northern Ugandan youth as child soldiers Arrest warrants were issued in 2005 by the International Criminal Court to four commanders of the LRA.
Peace negotiations between the government of Uganda and the LRA in 1993 led by Betty Bigombe, then Minister for the Pacification of the North collapsed. Since then, the Community of Sant'Egidio of Rome, the Carter Center in the United States and the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative in Uganda has organised other mediation initiatives. However, these efforts have all been plagued by ill will and mistrust by both warring parties and none have succeeded. Developments in 2010 have brought renewed hope that the international community will finally commit to seeing an end to the unchecked violence of the LRA and lasting peace in the region.
Potential for enhancing Infrastructures for Peace
In February 2010 UNDP Kenya hosted an experience sharing seminar in Naivasha where government officials, political parties, civil society and UN Country Teams from fourteen African countries discussed how African countries can build infrastructure for peace in a bid to reduce conflict and spur development.
Due to this experience-sharing the Uganda National Governing Council of the African Peer Review Mechanism Process set up a high-level consultation in July 2010, based on feedback from the Ugandan delegation to the Naivasha meeting, on establishing a national "peace architecture" to address the country's burgeoning conflicts over land, natural resources, and traditional authority. The Prime Minister of Ugandan attended this consultation, and the process to establish a viable conflict management system is expected to gather momentum in 2011. Under the leadership of the National Planning Authority, activities are underway towards an Infrastructure for Peace.