African Bishops Ask For Regional Dialogue

Two Ugandan bishops, one Catholic and one Anglican, traveled to Washington, D.C., to tell State Department officials that regional dialogue with the Lord’s Resistance Army would work better than a military option against it. The officials have until November to develop a strategy for disarming the L.R.A. “The issue is no longer the L.R.A. and Uganda,” said Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu [pictured, far right]. “The issue now is regional.” Archbishop Odama has headed the Archdiocese of Gulu in northern Uganda since 1999 and during that time has worked to end hostilities between the Ugandan military and the rebel Lord’ s Resistance Army, which is known for its brutality. The L.R.A., once based in northern Uganda, has expanded its operations. Archbishop Odama traveled to Washington with Anglican Bishop MacLeord Baker Ochola II, retired bishop of Kitgum. Both men told Catholic News Service in mid-September that they do not oppose the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in May, but were urging U.S. officials to end the use of force in dealing with the L.R.A.

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