Peace Policy: A new hope for peace processes in Uganda.

Tuesday 4th June 2015 was another day for Uganda’s process in realization of peace as various stakeholders met at Pope John Paul II Peace Justice Centre in Uganda for a national Dialogue on the National Peace Policy process. The objective of the dialogue was to review the draft Peace Strategy and come up with a way forward for the formation of the National Peace policy.
It was distressing to note that Uganda has had its fair share of conflicts right before independence, and during most of the 50 years of independence, characterized by political strife and instability, economic mismanagement, breakdown of physical and institutional infrastructure as well as civil wars. A number of interventions have since been implemented by the government, civil society organizations and international bodies in promoting relative peace but a National Peace policy has been one big missing link. It is against this back ground that government and civil society organizations including Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) and Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO) together with development partners such as ICCO Foundation started a process to formulate the National Peace policy. Participants at the dialogue were from the office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, UN women, UNDP, USAID, CEWIGO, ACCORD, UJCC, representatives of academic institutions and other stakeholders involved in peace building and conflict prevention.
Participants noted that the formulation of the peace policy had been slow, however that the Office of the Prime Minister had adopted the process of formulating the policy was encouraging. It was good to note that that the draft conflict prevention and peace building policy had been completed and was being aligned to national policies, strategies statutes and regional instruments. Though it was noted it still needs high level consultations, analysis of the national and Regional actors.
With the increasing active political environment in preparation for the 2016 general elections and support from the development partners like the OPM, UN agencies (UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women), Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) and CSOs under the auspices of Uganda Joint Christian Council, it is anticipated that the long awaited National Peace policy for Ugandan will be unveiled by 21st September 2015. This will minimize instances of conflict as it was noted that to undo conflict is a very expensive venture. A process to ensure sustainable peace is very vital for all Ugandans. Our leaders should therefore support this process. Peace begins with each of us.
By
Sheila Kengingo
Programme Manager
Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO)