Away from the fact that Uganda is celebrating 58 years of independence, the big story of the day is that Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) warlord Joseph Kony has written to President Yoweri Museveni asking for fresh talks with the government.
In the rumoured missive sent to the President ahead of the scientific independence celebrations, Kony goes ahead to propose the name of the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah to head the move that could eventually end Kony’s 3 and half decade resistance against the current government.
Joseph Kony’s LRA outfit is on record for having killed hundreds of thousands of people in Uganda between 1987 and 2009. About 3 million others were forced to leave their homes into internally displaced camps.
In 2005, he was indicted by the International Criminal Court on a number of crimes against humanity over his gruesome life threatening insurgency. He has however managed to avoid arrest for fifteen years now.
The call for talks comes at a time when Museveni and the United Nations stopped pursuing the outfit after concluding that it posed no significant security threat against the people of Uganda.
Kony, believed to be hiding in the jungles of the Central African Republic has reportedly had his army reduced to a paltry 100 from the reported 3000 that left Uganda with him.
Now believed to be at it’s weakest, it remains to be seen whether the Kampala Government would still find it to be of any importance to engage the nearly defunct rebel group in talks.
Besides, Kony has in the past used the talks to dupe the Government security by gaining time to reorganize and stage more offensives against the security forces. This will no doubt raise questions over the sincerity in Kony’s call.
President Museveni could however desire to engage in the talks for two strong reasons. These include putting the three decade long saga to an official end and for diplomatic reasons.
Even though the LRA warriors have been weakened to a point where they are no longer regarded a threat to the regime, it should have been Museveni’s wish to see the outfit completely wiped out to erase any fears of a possible regrouping.
Since he will most certainly come to the negotiating table at his weakest, the barbaric warlord will most likely ask for no more than amnesty and a few personal effects and not positions in government and the national army as it would have been some years back.
All we have to do however is keep watching to see what Museveni will do in response to the call. Will he ignore or arrange a delegation to meet with the dangerous war Lord in Garamba or anywhere else?
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