Uganda: Ganging Up On The Kony Crew


December 17, 2008: Looks like the joint attack is on. Ugandan aircraft bombed LRA positions in Congo (Garamba National Park). The air attacks were carried out with "the support" of the Government of South Sudan and the Congolese government. Ugandan troops have moved into the park and are advancing on known LRA camps. Could this be the end for Kony and his cunning cronies? Could be, and even if it isn't, as a declared international war criminal, there are few places left to run.

December 15, 2008: What does the LRA's latest refusal to sign a permanent peace agreement mean? One line of thinking says "not much, same old same old." There is a lot of support for that analysis. The LRA has proved it can defend its hideouts inside Congo's Garamba National Park. There is evidence that it has established temporary bases in the Central African Republic. With north and south Sudan's peace agreement under stress, LRA bands may have greater freedom of action in south Sudan as Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) forces focus on their old foes to the north. However, there are a couple of other political actors to consider, at least signals that political conditions in December 2008 aren't what they were in April 2008 when the LRA said it would sign a final peace accord. The LRA attacks on Congolese villages hardened the Congo government's attitude. Congo and Uganda have discussed "joint operations." No one is quite sure what that means, but it could mean a "free hand" for the Ugandan Army to operate against LRA forces in Garamba. South Sudan knows that the north (central Sudanese government) used the LRA as a tool against Uganda, and the LRA could be used as a "northern tool" against South Sudan. That realization may mean a larger anti-LRA coalition is in the works. Sure, similar threats have been made before. The UN peacekeepers in Congo attacked the LRA in Garamba and the LRA survived. But Congo and South Sudan increasingly see Uganda's LRA problem as becoming their LRA problem.

December 13, 2008: The government has taken a tougher position on the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrants charging LRA leaders with war crimes. At one time the government was discussing trying Joseph Kony and other indicted LRA commanders in Uganda, or in some way adjudicating the charges against the LRA leader inside Uganda. Now the government insists that ICC warrants will only "be deferred" after Kony agrees to a permanent peace agreement and actually signs it.

December 1, 2008: Another promise broken -- but few actually believed LRA commander Joseph Kony would sign the peace agreement. Kony reneged on promises made to peace mediators and said he would not sign "a final peace agreement" until the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrants for his arrest are dropped. The source for the report on Kony's rejection was Riek Machar, vice-president of South Sudan. Macahr is still serving as the chief peace mediator between the government and the LRA.





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