Lord's Resistances Army (LRA) rebels spokesman David Matsanga is making a
passionate plead to three regional countries to halt their military offensive
against LRA hideouts in eastern Congo.
The appeal came as Uganda, Southern
Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have carried out their second day
of military operations against LRA camps.
Matsanga told VOA the LRA wants peace but would defend itself if the military operations do
of all I would like to tell the whole international community that this
afternoon Vice President Dr. Riek Machar (of South Sudan) announced over the
BBC that his border is closed. At the same time, Ri-Kwangba, which the
President of Uganda is saying that the LRA should assemble is in Ri-Kwangba and
near the border post. The radius of assembly point is 15 kilometers around the
Ri-Kwangba area, which includes Congo territory. The Congolese government has
announced that they will fight the LRA to throw them out of Congo. I would like
to appeal to the world. How do you expect the LRA to assemble in Ri-Kwangba
area when the Congolese army has vowed to wipe out the LRA in Ri-Kwangba," he
appealed to the international community to help in calling on the Ugandan
President Museveni, President Kabila of the DRC and President Salva Kiir of
South Sudan to halt their attack to allow LRA negotiators to talk to their
rejected comments by Ugandan army spokesman Paddy Nkunda that the attacks
against would continue until LRA leader Joseph Kony and his rebels were
do you want to finish the people at the same time you say you want to open
peace. This is something that I cannot understand. I cannot be a party to a
place which breaks confidence. If the Ugandan government is determined for a
military operation, some of us will also tell the LRA that it is up to them to
defend themselves," Matsanga said.
would not say whether he had talked with LRA leader Kony since the military
am not going to disclose what I have contact with and what I can do as LRA
chief negotiator. The situation which has moved is more of a military
situation, and I am not capable to discuss a military situation over
international radio station," Matsanga said.
U.S State Department said Monday it welcomed the military offensive against the
LRA. Spokesman Robert Wood criticized the LRA of wreaking havoc on the people
in northern people in Uganda.
likened the LRA's 22 year-old struggle to that of the struggle of former South
African president Nelson Mandela against apartheid.
I told you, Mandela was in jail for 28 years, but Mandela never hop to fight
apartheid. This conflict has taken 22 years; we have only negotiated for two
years, and we have only failed to sign an agreement two times. Palestinians,
Israelis negotiate and they failed and they
come back. But they don't take military operation which is contrary to
destroying the whole process. Why have we rushed into military operation. The
people of northern Uganda at the moment are not certain of what is going to
happen to their lives because there is nobody in northern Uganda who is going
to be happy with this military operation," Matsanga said.