There are reports that Ugandan rebel leader
Joseph Kony is about to sign a peace deal with the government to end the
20-year rebellion in the north. Kony is the leader of the Lords Resistance Army
(LRA). The group refused to sign the peace agreement in April because of
international arrest warrants against him.
Major Paddy Ankunda, the
spokesperson of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces, told VOA English to Africa reporter Douglas Mpuga that he hopes that this
time Kony will keep his word and sign the peace agreement.
"Well, we do not know
whether it's for real," he said, "but we hope it is. He (Kony) has said that
before and never turned up for the signing. But if he turns up this time, that
is what we have always looked forward to."
He said members of the
Ugandan peace delegation are preparing to go for the signing and hope the LRA
and Kony will turn up. "But if they don't we will not be surprised. It's not
the first time he has promised to sign the agreement only to fail to show up."
Regarding the International
Criminal Court (ICC) indictments and arrest warrants for LRA leaders, Maj
Ankunda said that only when Kony signs the peace agreement will the Ugandan
government engage the United Nations and the ICC to try to lift the
He noted that he thinks the
rebel leader is beginning to realize that he (Kony) can only find safety in
signing a peace agreement. "And this is what we have told him all along," he
Ankunda revealed that if the
agreement is signed, the next step will be the implementation of the provisions
of the agreement, including assembling the rebels and the entire process of
demobilization, disarmament and reintegration.
He said the Ugandan delegation
will be leaving this Friday for the signing ceremony scheduled to take place at
Ri-Kwangba in Southern Sudan.
20-year LRA-led rebellion has displaced some two million people in northern