The Ugandan government and rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have signed the last in a series of documents before a final peace agreement.
A government spokesman called it a major step towards peace in the north.
But only hours later, the LRA delegation, led by David Matsanga, stormed out of a meeting held after the signing ceremony late friday. The walkout spells the fragility of the peace efforts.
LRA leader Joseph Kony, who has been indicted, by the international criminal court (ICC), has said he will never sign the final agreement unless the indictment is lifted.
David Matsanga told VOA’s Akwei Thompson that the LRA walked out of the meeting because the Uganda government appeared unwilling to comply with the LRA’s core demand: the removal of ICC indictments on LRA members.
He said “…our signing all these small blocks is to enable the Ugandan government to go to the United Nations Security Council and to the ICC to have them remove the case that has been fixed upon our people” Matsanga said.
Matsanga accused the Ugandan government of playing a game of lies. “The Ugandan government for the last two years has been telling us it will go to the ICC, it will go to the ICC…The time of lies came to a head when we caught them - we caught them red-handed – they were in catch 22 - they had no alternative but to tell another big lie…”
David Matsanga reiterated the LRA’s stand that Joseph Kony “will only sign the peace agreement when the ICC indictment has been removed.”