Opposition Democratic Party (DP) President Norbert Mao has accused government of delaying implementation of the 2007 Juba Peace Agreement in its totality.
Mao made the remarks while speaking at the Beyond Juba 2017 Memorial Lecture organized by the Greater North Parliamentary Forum (GNPF) on Friday under the theme: “Local Memories and National Truth: Implications for Transitional Justice in Uganda”.
The Juba talks entailed negotiations between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group over the terms of a ceasefire and possible peace agreement.
The talks, doctor held in Juba, South Sudan, began in July 2006 and were mediated by Riek Machar, the then Vice President of the neighboring country.
The DP strongman argued that failure by government to keep its promise to implement the Juba Peace Agreement in totality is like a time bomb.
“This promise was made as far back in 2007 when the agreement was signed; particularly the provisions on truth telling, accountability and reconciliation processes should have been considered way back,” Mao said.
Mao appealed to government to fast track the process since the purpose of truth telling process is to let the bad blood flow out other than tearing apart society.
“The process will help restore broken relationships; the memories are still there, there is no healing yet, we believe that this process will facilitate healing rather than the current presence fallacy that because the guns are silent then there is peace,” Mao noted.
“We urge government to take up this matter and if not we as the Democratic Party will initiate a private member’s bill, the National Reconciliation Bill.”
He added that while the move might be an embarrassment to government, it would have been their desperate measure in response to the urgency.
During the closure of the lecture, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said she was ready to receive the private member’s bill despite being seen as an embarrassment to government.
“Hon. Mao has talked about embarrassing the government by presenting a private member’s bill, I want to assure you that I believe in the rights of MPs and I will protect them very religiously so whether the government gets embarrassed or not it’s not my problem,” Kadaga responded.