THREE separate ambushes on Thursday near Juba have raised the spectre of a resumption of the war in the north. This is a nightmare prospect.
It is not clear who carried out the ambushes but it must be assumed that it was units of the Lords Resistance Army. The LRA has a track record of ambushing convoys in northern Ugandan and southern Sudan and the LRA was apparently angry that they were not being given as much food as they felt they deserved.
However these ambushes should not derail or halt the ongoing peace talks in Juba. The leopard does not change its spots. The LRA has been responsible for even more gruesome atrocities in the past. Despite this ambush, it is still the same LRA in the talks in Juba as last week. If the Uganda government and the government of southern Sudan were previously prepared to negotiate a peace agreement with the LRA, they should still be prepared to do so today. The fundamentals of the situation remain unchanged.
The peace talks have brought renewed confidence to the region. Large numbers have left the IDP camps. Traders and NGOs have become increasingly active in northern Uganda, spurred on by the business opportunities available in neighbouring southern Sudan.
If the LRA resume their struggle, it is almost certain that the world community will club together to enforce the ICC arrest warrants and wipe them out. But it would be infinitely preferable if the conflict could be resolved through negotiation in Juba.
War is always bloodier, sadder, more destructive and longer â€“lasting than anticipated.
Continue peace talks