Kony Wants Museveni Meeting

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Kony says face-to-face meetings with Museveni would speed up the negotiating process—the road towards ending Uganda’s 20-year conflict has been bumpy, with both sides accusing the other of numerous violations of a temporary truce.

 

(Uganda’s Museveni. Would such a meeting be held in Garamba forest?)

 

The Lords Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony wants to discuss the obstacles to a peace agreement with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni.

The LRA’s commander made the disclosure to a visiting group of lawyers. Kony says face-to-face meetings with Museveni would speed up the negotiating process—the road towards ending Uganda’s 20-year conflict has been bumpy, with both sides accusing the other of numerous violations of a temporary truce.


Last week the United Nations top diplomat responsible for humanitarian relief, Jan Egland, called on the foes to bury their mutual distrust and reconcile for the sake of peace in Uganda.
Two million Ugandans remain confined in abysmal government-operated camps, with up to 1,000 dying every week, international relief organizations report. The government denies the death rate is that high. Olara Otunnu, former U.N. Under Secretary General and a government critic has called the conditions "on-going genocide," drawing harsh rebuke from government.


Kony recently invited Gulu District chairperson Nobert Mao, as well as Resident District Commissioner Walter Ochora and Owiny Dolo, for a meeting. The Southern Sudan government has been brokering the wobbly talks that have almost collapsed several times.


“Kony believes that Juba is a forum for agreeing on some details but the core principles should be hammered out by direct contact,� Mao said, upon return
from their three-day stay in GarambaForest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “In fact Joseph Kony himself said even in peace talks there should be secret talks. So we expect that over the next few weeks, a lot of the stumbling blocks will be unblocked through secret contact between him, the President and other government leaders-that is our conclusion as per the days we spent with the rebels.�


With nine days until the expiration of the extension of the truce, known as the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CHA) on December 1, the rebels remain in Garamba. They are required, under the CHA to assembly points at Ri-Kwangba.


Mao and his team are now set to meet government officials and some ambassadors today (November 21) to communicate Kony’s President Museveni today or tomorrow to deliver a special message from the LRA chief.
Much of Kony’s reluctance may stem from the fact that there remain International Criminal Court arrest warrants for the arrest of the LRA’s top leadership, including Kony.

 

Ssebaggala writes for The Black Star News from Uganda.


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