Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels (LRA) have reacted with shock and dismay, reports that President Yoweri Museveni is aligning himself with neighboring countries to launch a pre-emptive strike against rebel positions. This comes after President Museveni reportedly met with the President’s of Congo and the Central African Republic. The rebels have dismissed the reports as unfortunate and described president Museveni as the main stumbling block to the progress of the peace talks, currently going on in the southern Sudanese capital of juba.
Meanwhile both the government and the rebels are consulting as part of the third agenda item, which is accountability and reconciliation.
David Matsanga is a technical advisor to the LRA on ICC matters. From the Kenyan capital, Nairobi he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the rebels are disappointed with President Museveni’s action.
“I want to tell you that every time, the government of Uganda has tried to look for an exit, a scapegoat when we want to bring peace in northern Uganda. I’m not surprised that the Uganda government is trying to align itself with Congo and the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) to attack the LRA. If these reports are true, then this is the most absurd. Every time when the Ugandan government sees that peace is about to return to northern Uganda the Ugandan government brings scapegoats and its uses all exits and all malice from all angles to make sure that the peace process collapses. So this is not coming as a surprise because the government of Uganda has never wanted peace; it always does a double strategy, or double tragedy that ahs killed the people of northern Uganda for almost 21 years,” Matsanga pointed out.
He wondered why Congo was reportedly planning with President Museveni to attack the LRA, when, he said, Congo is part of the peace negotiations currently in Juba.
“Let me make it very clear that Congo has got a representative on the peace mission in Juba. It is very naïve, very sardonic for even Congo to think of having anything to talk about attacking the LRA, when in actual sense Congo has got a representative of His Excellency President (Joseph) Kabila on the delegation in Juba on the mediation team as an observer,” he said.
Matsanga said if the reports of President Museveni’s meeting with neighboring countries to attack the LRA are credible, then it is a recipe for the collapse of the peace negotiations.
"Those reports if they are true, are meant to make sure that the Uganda peace process currently in Juba does not take place. The LRA as far as I’m concerned is committed to the peace process, it wants to do all what it can do to make sure that peace returns to northern Uganda. If president Museveni wants to align with the Central African Republic and Congo to attack the LRA, that is very regretful, unforgivable crime against the humanity of the people of northern Uganda in particular,” Matsanga noted.
He said although the LRA regrets the supposed meeting with neighboring countries to attack the rebels, the LRA still has hope of finding a lasting peace.
“We have dismissed Museveni’s reports as shallow and not worthy, and the Lord’s Resistance Army does not take Museveni’s report as anything that is credible. These reports and his machinations against the people of northern Uganda and northeastern Uganda are always known. The LRA is committed to the peace process; it will carry out the peace process up to the final letter. It is Museveni who would abrogate the peace process, but not the Lord’s Resistance Army,” he said.