Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) peace negotiation team will today (Wednesday) hand over documents to rebel commander Joseph Kony to sign his side of the final peace deal. This comes after the United States Department of State gave visas to members of the rebel negotiating team to travel to the United Nations to seek the removal of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants against the top leaders of the LRA. The rebels said that although Kony will sign the final peace deal, they would not disarm until the arrest warrants are removed.
The final peace deal, which will also be signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni tomorrow (Thursday) will end over two decades of LRA insurgency in northern Uganda. David Matsanga is the leader of the LRA rebel delegation. From the Southern Sudanese capital, Juba he tells reporter Peter Clottey that all is set for the rebel commander to sign the final peace deal.
“Two weeks ago general Joseph Kony called me and told me to postpone the signing of the final peace agreement that we had been negotiated and said we should sign this agreement himself. Should be able to sign this agreement in Rikwangba, but not any other person and that he will sign this agreement and that is all,” Matsanga pointed out.
He said a final peace agreement with President Yoweri Museveni’s government would go a long way in showing the seriousness of the LRA towards finding a lasting solution to the northern Uganda conflict.
“I want to make it very clear to the world that this agreement has given the LRA the opportunity, and we shall remove the LRA from the list of the terrorist organizations. We have stopped general Joseph Kony and others to be taken to The Hague, we have managed to achieve the livestock of the people of Uganda to be retuned we have managed to secure UPDF (Uganda People’s Defense Forces) to get out of the soil of Sudan, and return to Uganda. We have managed to create inclusiveness, and participation in the government of Uganda because the people of northern Uganda has been marginalized by Museveni’s government for a long time,” he said.
Matsanga said visas have been granted to members of his negotiating team to travel to the United Nations to seek the removal of the ICC arrest warrants against the top leadership of the LRA.
“Oh yes, my delegation has bargained and negotiated and we have actually defeated the Uganda government in negotiations…we secured several things that had never been there in Uganda…I want to tell the world that whether tomorrow or whatever it is we shall go to the United Nations Security Council and put our case and that is why we want the warrants to be lifted,” Matsanga noted.
He reiterated the readiness of rebel commander Joseph Kony to sign the final peace deal, which would effectively end the rebels over two decades of insurgency.
“I want to tell you categorically that general Joseph Kony talked to me, he assured me and he told me to postpone the date up to the 10th. I postponed the date and I told Riek Marchar and told everybody that this is what general Joseph Kony has said…after signing the agreement, general Joseph Kony has to sit down with his people and they will tell him about Mato Put (Uganda’s traditional method of justice), and about what is going to happen in Uganda,” he said.