In Uganda, the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is threatening to withdraw from the peace talks in juba over a statement made by President Yoweri Museveni. Museveni was said to have angered the LRA when he hinted at a possible military action against the rebel group once the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election is resolved. The rebels described Museveni as a person who is totally opposed to peace.
Kirunda Kivajinja is Uganda’s minister of information.
He told VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey that Museveni’s statement is not new.
“The president did not say anything new. We said that LRA is actually a terrorist organization, has attacked from our neighbors the Sudan and that with the new situation in Sudan, that is why they can no longer operate in the Sudan territory and they went over to Garamba. And we have been saying that, if in Garamba, when the democratic set up is resolved in Congo it would be difficult for even (Kony) to operate from there. And it is out of those considerations that we opted for peace talks negotiated by our colleague and the vice president of Southern Sudan so that we are able to give the LRA a soft landing from the bush…” he said.
Kivajinja says the Ugandan government is still interested in continuing the peace talks with the rebels.
“For us we are still in the talks, and if at all they have got any problems, they must express it to our mediator,” Kivajinja said.
He says the rebel LRA is suspicious of government’s efforts to find a lasting peace with them.
“The question of suspicion has always been there. You know, (Vincent) Oti said that he would be arrested if he comes over to Juba. So I think it is their guilty conscience that is haunting them but otherwise, as to our good intentions, for us we are serious people. That is not the only group we have even had peace talks with. We have had so many insurgents who have tried their way that they couldn’t move any further and then we are able to bail them out and we reconcile them and even incorporate them into our establishment. So these ones, I think because of the extent of their atrocities they have committed, they are not sure and they think we are lying,” he noted.
Kivajinja says the rebels have asked to assemble at their preferred assembly point, contrary to what was agreed upon at the pace talks.
“They were asking for another assembly place and not the Owiny-ki Bul, which was originally agreed in the ceasefire arrangements. I think they were trying to shift from one place to the other and I think that’s why the government delegation said no. Lets agree to work with what we agreed first and if at all there were any conditions, which were not satisfied, ask for that and we shall guarantee it. But shifting from position to position that then, we shall never end the peace process,” he said.
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