Ugandan Women Light Torch for Peace

Today a group of Ugandan women began a five-day journey from the capital city of Kampala to the Sudanese city Juba, to support peace negotiations between their government and the Lord's Resistance Army.

Since 1987 the LRA has been fighting the Ugandan government for state control. In 1994 the conflict turned regional as both Sudan and Uganda lent support to armed rebellions in each other's states. The conflict has received little attention in the western media, despite an estimated 12,000 deaths due to violence and the resulting malnutrition caused by political chaos. Since July, the LRA and the Ugandan governments have been engaged in peace talks and resulted in a September ceasefire.

Hope Mwesigye, a Ugandan minister, is joining the women's delegation because she believes that women can help resolve one of the continent's oldest conflicts.

 “I am confident that the Juba peace talks will yield positive results. But of course also as women, we have said that it’s high time that everybody came together irrespective of sex, irrespective of gender relations, irrespective of religion, irrespective of where one comes from, that we could also show our commitment to the process, and by everybody else showing commitment to the process, we hope that we can achieve peace,” Mwesigye said.

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