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Kony asks for mercy and seeks forgiveness

By The  Independent Team

The Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader, Joseph Kony, has written to Ugandans seeking forgiveness and a resumption of peace talks to end the insurgency.

“I want to assure the people of Uganda that, we [LRA] are committed to a sustainable peaceful political settlement of our long war with the government of (President) Museveni,” Kony’s letter dispatched by Mr Mission Okello reads in part.

“We are willing and ready to forgive and seek forgiveness, and continue to seek peaceful means to end this war which has cut across a swathe of Africa for the people of the Great Lakes and the Nile-Congo Basin to find peace.”


The government-LRA peace talks hosted in Juba, South Sudan collapsed after Kony refused to sign the final peace agreement in 2008.

Kony is believed to be hiding in DR Congo and the Central African Republic.

His atrocious war has been marked by abductions, looting and massacres. However, in his letter Kony seeks to share the blame for the deaths during decades of rebellion with the government singling out renegade Gen David Sejusa as equally culpable.

He says he didn’t go to war because he was an aggressor but in self-defence.
However, government Media Centre boss Ofwono Opondo, dismissed Kony’s plea for fresh talks, saying he wasted the opportunity to hold peace talks.
Instead, Mr Opondo advised Kony to surrender to UPDF or apply for amnesty and denounce rebellion before time runs out.

Kony also sought to whitewash himself saying some of the massacres in the north were committed by UPDF to “to spoil my name.”

He asked the International Criminal Court, which wants him for crimes against humanity to turn the heat on President Museveni and Gen Sejusa.

However, while responding to the above allegations Mr Opondo said: “The allegations against the President are wrong as people of Northern Uganda know who exactly cut off their lips and raped them.”

On the current war in South Sudan, Kony advised President Museveni to pull UPDF out of the country to give President Salva Kiir and his former vice president Dr Riek Machar, a chance to talk peace.

“I am pained to see the loss of life brought by the fight between our two brothers, President Kiir and his former deputy Dr Machar. President Museveni should take blame for splitting South Sudan, which has made the two to fight each other,” Kony wrote in a letter purportedly authored by the rebel leader.

Government official Henry Okello-Oryem said a telephone conversation arranged with Mr Kony had failed to materialise.

“We are willing and ready to forgive and seek forgiveness, and continue to seek peaceful means to end this war which has cut across a swathe of Africa for the people of the Great Lakes and the Nile-Congo Basin to find peace.”

Mr Okello-Oryem, Uganda’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told the BBC that Mission Okello, a man claiming to represent the rebel leader, was behind the latest initiative.

He had agreed to a time and date to hold a telephone conversation with Mr Kony, but it never happened, Mr Okello-Oryem said.

Mr Okello told him Mr Kony was worried that US satellites operating in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) and the region would locate him, the minister said.

Mr Okello told the BBC the conversation had not taken place because of technical problems.

But Mr Okello-Oryem said he was not sure whether Mr Okello was a genuine representative of Mr Kony, and if the LRA leader was serious about peace the two of them would have already spoken.

The LRA was forced out of Uganda in 2005 and since then has wreaked havoc in CAR and other neighbouring states.

Mr Kony claims the LRA’s mission is to install a government in Uganda based on the Biblical Ten Commandments.

In November, then-CAR ruler Michel Djotodia said his government was in talks with him about his surrender.

However, African diplomats cast doubts on Mr Djotodia’s claim.

Mr Djotodia resigned as CAR interim president earlier this month.

Sources : bbc, monitor.co.ug

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