The reclusive leader of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebel group,
Joseph Kony, has said peace talks with the Ugandan government should
resume. Derek Kilner reports from VOA's East Africa bureau in Nairobi.
Joseph Kony delivered his comments in a rare interview with Radio France International on Sunday.
the chairman of the Lord's Resistance Army I want these peace talks to
resume back again to Juba," he said. "I want to go to table back again
to Juba and I need also not to fight again with Uganda government."
delegation from the Lord's Resistance Army had been negotiating with
the Ugandan government, under the mediation of Mozambique's former
president Joachim Chissano and the vice president of the
semi-autonomous government of southern Sudan, Riek Machar. By April,
the two sides had drafted a peace agreement, but the talks collapsed
after Kony failed to turn up for a meeting to sign the agreement.
Sunday's interview provides Kony's first public comments since the failed meeting.
main message to the people of Uganda is this: 'Me, as the chairman of
the Lords Resistance Army I am the one who called peace talks, so I am
not going to refuse anything about this,'" he said. "And I am agreeing
to continue dialogue until we finish everything and I am not going to
go back to war with the Ugandan government. "
In response to the
apparent failure of the peace process, the governments of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and southern Sudan agreed to
launch a joint military operation against the Lord's Resistance Army.
The wisdom of the military approach appeared to be bolstered after
Lord's Resistance Army rebels attacked southern Sudanese troops earlier
But southern Sudan's Riek Machar says he is willing to resume negotiations.
is a good step forward that he has come out to say he would want the
peace process to continue," he said. "I am looking to receive a call
from him. Already the leader from his team has rang me in the morning
and I told him that once General Joseph Kony rings me we will make the
arrangements for him to come to Juba."
Ugandan military spokesman Paddy Ankunda said he also welcomed the resumption of peace talks.
we want is peace. If he can gives us a shortcut by accepting to sign
the agreement that is welcome," he said. "We will wait and see. If he
is serious he will turn up, if he is not, he will not. He had better
come himself, but if he can give us any authentic mediators or
delegates we will work with whoever can take us to that signature."
Kony and his top deputies are wanted by the International Criminal
Court for war crimes. The two-decade conflict has spread from Northern
Uganda into Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central