Eight members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
delegation to the Juba peace talks quit late last week, citing dissatisfaction
with LRA leader Joseph Kony and chief LRA negotiator David Matsanga. Matsanga
quit his position after a failed attempt to convince Kony to sign a final
agreement in April, but in recent weeks has claimed to have regained Kony's
The quitting LRA delegation members blamed Kony for the faltering
effort to end the over 22-year civil war in northern Uganda. But Matsanga told
VOA the eight departing LRA negotiators
are money diggers who were asked to leave because they tried to conclude an
agreement with the Ugandan government without the approval of rebel leader
my (re) appointment, all of us agreed that we should embark on a trip to go to
Juba (South Sudan's capital) to talk to the chief mediator (South Sudan Vice
President Riek Machar) and to talk to with (former Mozambican) President
Chissano so that we can put back the peace process. Then what has happened is
that they went to Kampala without the authority of the chairman. They wanted to
implement the agreement without the signature of General Joseph Kony. And
therefore as chairman of the delegation, I got instructions from the high
command that those who don't want to be on the committee might as well not be
there, but not to go through the back door to implement the agreement," he
refuted the LRA negotiating defectors' claim that Kony was responsible for the
wavering Juba peace process. In stead he said the former negotiators have
rebelled against Kony.
Joseph Kony in his radio interview on the 22nd with Radio France
said he wants peace and would not fight again, and he wants to negotiate and
sign this agreement. These who have done so have rebelled against the
instructions of General Joseph Kony's instructions, and therefore they are no
longer welcome to discuss anything regarding the peace process," Matsanga said.
appealed to the international community to continue to support the Juba peace
process, including providing food and other supplies to LRA fighters who he
said are assembled on the Sudan-DRC border.
LRA at the moment, my priority is to get food to the troops who are assembled
in Ri-Kwanba. They need medicine; they need clothes at the moment so that they
continue to assemble in Ri-Kwanba while we finish up the arrangement. Priority
number two is to make sure that I sign the cessation of hostility arrangement
so the UPDF does not attack General Joseph Kony," he said.
dismissed the suggestion that he and Kony were misleading the international
community by not delivering on their repeated promises of a final peace deal.
me tell you that the international community, Britain, America and AU (African
Union) and all the countries in the world know that I'm the one who negotiated
and who's determined to find the peace. Therefore, I have not played with the
minds of the international community. I am not a warmonger; I'm a peace
negotiator; I'm not a combatant, and I don't direct General Joseph Kony to do
anything or confuse him to do anything," He said.
said at the moment the LRA would like for the international community to
continue funding the peace process, including sending food to LRA fighters who
he said are moving in large numbers to assembly points in the Sudan-DRC border
town of Ri-Kwanba awaiting disarmament and other procedures that will follow
after signing a final peace agreement.
again described the International Criminal Court's indictments against Kony and
his chief lieutenants as flawed and should be lifted.