A spokesman for Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels
has said that if reports of an attack on LRA positions are true, it would be disastrous
for the peace process and the people of northern Uganda.
Reports Sunday quoted three
central African governments – Uganda, Southern Sudan, and the Democratic
Republic of Congo - as saying their armies launched a joint offensive against
an LRA base in the Garamba forests of eastern Congo.
The three countries said
in a joint statement that their forces destroyed the main camp of LRA leader
Joseph Kony and set it on fire. There was no immediate word on Kony's fate.
David Nyekorach Matsanga, chief peace negotiator for the
LRA, told VOA that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was
using an attack against the LRA as a pretext to invade eastern Congo for that
of all the action, if it is true and if it is confirmed, it is the most
regrettable action that humanity in this region will have. We have negotiated
an agreement, we had negotiated peace for the last two years, and it is
regrettable that the government of the Republic of Uganda has decided to make a
military attack on the LRA, if it is confirmed. I want to make it clear that I
have not received official confirmation from General Joseph Kony of this
attack. But when it unfolds tomorrow and I received instruction from General
Joseph Kony, then I will make an official statement," he said.
rejected suggestions that the LRA was responsible for the alleged attack for
its repeated failure to sign a final peace agreement the rebel group and the
Matsanga said the nearly four years peace process has brought some stability to
should understand that we have got gains out of these three and the half years
of negotiations. There was relative peace in northern Uganda. And now if
Museveni decides to attack the LRA without any consultation while he is talking
to us, it is very regrettable. The world must condemn it," Matsanga said.
accused Uganda of using an attack on the LRA as a pretext to invade the
Democratic Republic of Congo with the intention to loot that country's
condemned this action of a few military people in the government of Uganda who
are using this as a pretext to invade Congo. They have now taking their
positions in Congo to loot the minerals, to loot the diamonds, to loot the
timber, and everything in Congo. But that attack has taken place, the
consequences are going to very dear, and the world is going to regret why this
has taken place and they watched it," he said.
pressed furthe3r to give evidence that Uganda has been wanting to invade the
DRC to loot that country's resources, Matsanga would only say that the LRA has
its own intelligence network deep inside Uganda.
also said he called South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar, who is also the
mediator of the peace process between the LRA and the Ugandan government to
warn him that if the reported attack were true, it would be an escalation of
would not say whether Joseph Kony would retaliate if the reports of an attack
on his camp were true. But Matsanga said the LRA was interested in peace.
cannot discuss the military strength of General Joseph Kony. It is only he as a
military spokes of the LRA that can discuss the modalities. Let me make it very
clear negotiations are not weaknesses. Being on the peace table does not mean
the LRA is weak. But if the Museveni government has taken that root, we will
wait and see the consequences that will unfold in the region," Matsanga said.
said those who think an attack against the LRA in Congo would be a quick
walkover might live to regret their actions.