Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
are denying reports that they massacred over 400 people in the Democratic
Republic of Congo the day after Christmas.
Reports quoting survivors and witnesses say the killings took place
close to Congo’s border with Sudan where the armies of the two countries and
Uganda attacked LRA rebels earlier this month.
But LRA chief peace negotiator
David Matsanga told VOA the killings were carried out by
a special battalion of the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF).
I was negotiating in Juba, I told the world that there is battalion 105, a
battalion of the UPDF that was composed of ex-LRA combatants who defected since
2004. They were trained to go and attack the LRA. I put this on the table. Dr.
Riek Machar is a witness, and I put it to the Ugandan government that this
battalion 105 is the one that is trained to go do a lot of atrocities against
the people of Congo and turn it on to the LRA because they think the LRA cannot
speak,” he said.
said he has been assured by LRA leader General Joseph Kony that LRA forces were
not responsible for the alleged killings.
denied accusations by Ugandan military captain Chris Magezi who is spokesman
for the joint military operation that LRA fighters used machetes and swords to carry out the killings.
me tell you and the international community, Captain Chris Magezi is a young
imbecile, a small boy who has just come out of university who has not seen war.
He’s one of those few small officers who have put President Museveni under
siege. They want a military option yet they will not finish it. For 20 years
they have made declarations that they will finish the LRA,” he said.
called on the Ugandan government to return to the peace table rather than the
want to tell the world that Captain Magezi they have gone into Garamgba with
their Rambo-style operation, they have not got any objective. The war has not
produced any objective. You have not succeeded; let’s go back to the table;
let’s look for a neutral place to discuss the contentious issue of the ICC
(International Criminal Court). Let’s see a way to find a long lasting solution
other than this fight where zillion are going to be killed by battalion 105,”
rejected suggestion that LRA leader Kony has not been heard from since the
joint Congo, Uganda and Sudan military action against the LRA. Matsanga
reiterated that the LRA wants peace and not war.
have heard from him, and I’m telling you that that I have talked to them and
they telling me to tell the world that they want peace. And I am telling you to
tell the world to ask President Museveni to cease fire so that this peace can
come. A military solution will not finish the conflict in Congo. We only need a
neutral country where we can sit together with Dr. Rugunda or whoever the
Uganda government will send. We will put the proposals which General Kony has
put forward and where he said he recognizes the agreement but he doesn’t
recognize the chief mediator (Riek Machar of South Sudan,” Matsanga said.
said because Sudan was involved in the December attack on LRA positions, the
LRA believes Machar cannot negotiate a fair agreement.