Many have advocated and prayed for greater support for peace negotiations in this war-torn region. Recent developments lend to optimism that the prayers of millions are being answered.
Reuters reported that during their meeting, Bush asked Museveni for his assessment of the situation on the ground; they then had a discussion about the need for the peace talks to go forward.
Groups advocating for peace in the region, including World Vision, are encouraged that the northern Uganda crisis was part of the dialogue that took place between the two leaders.
"We are pleased that President Bush mentioned the ongoing conflict in his recent meeting with President Museveni," says Rory E. Anderson, World Vision's senior policy advisor for Africa. "However, continued high-level U.S. government engagement, coupled with resources for relief and development in northern Uganda, will be essential to ending the crisis and securing prosperity for the entire region."
Another positive indicator of U.S. engagement on these issues was the recent Senate Hearing on Peace and Democracy in the African Great Lakes Region — of which Uganda is part — led by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs Subcommittee. Feingold has long been an advocate for peace in northern Uganda; his recent trip in August to both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Uganda prompted him to hold this important hearing. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., was also present at the hearing.
Feingold played a significant role in raising points to address during Musevini's White House visit by sending a letter of critical issues for the president to highlight.
>> Pray for the children and families trapped in the middle of this conflict. Now that northern Uganda has reached a threshold at which sustainable peace is possible, pray for a successful negotiation that would receive strong international support, and pray for healing and reconciliation in communities that will be receiving former child soldiers.
>> Wisconsin residents: Send a message of thanks to Sen. Feingold. Applaud him for his leadership to increase U.S. involvement in the northern Uganda peace process.
>> Send a message to Congress and the president asking for increased humanitarian assistance for northern Uganda and continued support from the United States to help ensure that the peace talks are successful.
>> Make a monthly financial pledge to help provide for the needs of children affected by war.
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