Joseph Kony - Lord's Resistance Army News Updates
Fresh from Uganda and Central Africa - News Updates on Joseph Kony and the LRA
News and Opinion regarding Joseph Kony, LRA, Northern Uganda and Child Soldiers
Latest LRA and Joseph Kony Update is at bottom of page.
Update: November 12, 2009: Nora Anek Oting, the mother of Joseph Kony last wish for her son Joseph Kony as told to her attending nurse was that her son make peace and lay down his arms. He has been invited to the funeral by relatives and also urged to make peace at that time and sign the treaty that was agreed upon in Juba. South Sudan in 2006.Joseph Kony's Mother's dying Wish.
Update: November 11, 2009: Joseph Kony's 86 year old mother Nora Anek Oting has died at Mulago Hospital in Kampala on Tuesday, November 10, 2009. Her body will be taken to Gulu for a family burial. State House was arranging for her body to be transferred to Gulu and to meet burial expenses. There has been no news from Joseph Kony himself regarding the death of his mother. Her husband, Cilio Obol, the father of Kony died some time back. She had suffered for 10 years of a respiratory ailment and the government of Uganda has been taken care of her.
Update: October 20, 2009: There have been reports, unsubstantiated floating around for a few months and also reported by the UK "Independent" newspaper that Kony has expanded into the Darfur region of Sudan. The Monitor Newspaper quotes A senior official in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), Major-General Kuol Deim Kuol, who told The Independent that: “We have confirmed that the LRA are there (Darfur) and they have clashed with the local population”. (this is very questionable, what is known that the LRA attacked Darfurian refugees within (South Sudan).
Spokes-persons or those who claim to be spokes-persons for Kony have spoken about a renewal of peace negotiations but it seems like fiction rather than reality. There are still un-supported reports that Sudan is supporting Kony. In the Ugandan "Monitor Newspaper" “There is no barrier, nothing between [our Ugandan borders] and the LRA so if we do not pursue them who will stop [Joseph] Kony from abducting? It’s either now or never. If we do not end it Kony could be at our doorstep” said Army and Defence Spokesman, Lt. Col. Felix Kulaigye yesterday (October 19-2009).
Update: October 10, 2009: The local Ugandan reports put Kony into the Central African Republic. Elements of the Uganda People's Defense Force are pursuing the LRA there with some success. The strategy is to keep him away from Uganda, the sad reality is that Kony and the LRA are creating havoc and misery, displacing whole villages in other areas. There are no reporters with the UPDF as they are in pursuit of the LRA.
There are also reports from South Sudan regarding killings attributed to the LRA.
Update: September 15th, 2009
The Uganda People's Defense Force has been active within the Central African Republic with the permission of the government there. They have rescued a hundred abductees, most children and mostly from the Central African Republic. Some major breakthroughs have taken place besides the rescue of the abductees. The Ugandan army said on September 14 that it had killed a notorious senior rebel commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) his name was Lt. Col. Santos Alit and he five others were killed 15km north-east of Obo in the Central African Republic.
This comes only two weeks after the army captured Maj. Okot Atiak, a feared senior rebel commander, believed to have lead the massacre of 250 civilians at Atiak in Gulu district , Uganda in April 1995.
Update: September10th, 2009
Joseph Kony and the LRA have been creating havoc in three nations in recent weeks. In the Democratic Republic of Congo where villagers have fled near his encampments in order to avoid raids and abductions by the LRA, there have been some raids in the nearby South Sudan where villages were raided, people killed and some abducted and more recently in the Central African Republic. There have again been more of the same including the abduction of children.
Update: August 8th, 2009
Joseph Kony has moved his troops, which are somewhat depleted by now to different locations ranging from South Sudan to Democratic Republic of Congo with the Central African Republic mixed into that equation.
Some kind of peace has now existed in the North of Uganda for about two years as of this writing, but the scars of war still remain where so much anger and violence have been sown for over 20 years, where over 30,000 children were abducted from villages and schools. Where children were abducted and brainwashed, trained to kill, rape, torture, even their own families, where rage and fear ruled for many years, where 2 1/2 million people were refugees in their own country, living in squalid camps, cramped housing, lack of subsistence farming space, lack of hospitals, doctors and so much more.
Joseph Kony's, Lord's Resistance Army, signed a truce some two years ago, but refused to sign the peace agreement at the end of the day in Juba, South Sudan in 1008 because of fears that he be arrested because of warrant from the International Criminal Court in De Hague, Netherlands. Now his troops of un-merry men is causing havoc in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic where over 300 were abducted recently and still in Southern Sudan, but there have been no activities in Northern Uganda.
The feelings about Joseph Kony amongst his own Acholi people are mixed, some who lost family members and friends see him as a villain while others see him as a type of Robin Hood, as a man who stood up of what is perceived as an anti-northern government in Kampala.
There are many solutions offered, from outright amnesty to hanging them. The Acholi people also have a ritual that is referred to as the bitter drink. Where two enemies bury their weapons and reconcile by drinking a bitter potion that reminds them not to return to the former ways.
Everyone however hopes that peace will prevail, that the wounds of the past will heal and all can return to a normal life in Northern Uganda...jon
LRA Update-December 22nd 2008 from Kampala:
The LRA and its commander have been hiding out in several camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo. During the peace process Kony has received large amounts of cash and food supplies as an incentive to sign the peace treaty. Many of the supplies were sold and weapons were bought. Joseph Kony and some of his commanders simply want to avoid being handed over to the International Criminal Court which has issued a warrant for their arrest.
The cease-fire has been a time to regroup and strengthen the LRA, he has operated inside of South Sudan, then Central African Republic and now in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo where his camps were first attacked by Airplanes and Helicopter Gunships and then invaded by armies from Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The good news is that Uganda has enjoyed peace and people have and are returning to their former homesteads and villages, schools have opened and slowly a sense of commerce and normalization is returning to the north of Uganda. Since December 15th when 3 nation force attacked the camps, the north fears the retribution of the LRA and Kony inside of Uganda.
Kony and his 650 some strong group has evaded capture. Radio broadcasts in the Acholi language which is Luo are asking the LRA to surrender and enjoy Christmas at home, that their families are awaiting their return. Leaflets have been dropped with the same message.
The Acholi community and religious leaders who have met with him recently want peace in the region and were against the attacks. Peace negotiators had just met with President Museveni and Kony had asked for a face to face meeting with the President. Some reports here said that he had agreed, but then the attack on the seven camps and yet no Kony dead or alive. Let us hope that this Christmas which is just two days away will be one of Peace in Northern Uganda.
The good news is that for the children of northern Uganda there is peace, no fear of abduction, let us hope that it remains, it will take a long time for the inner wounds to heal for those who were maimed, raped, abducted and burned out...jon from Kampala
Update March 23 2009: I have a google news update that include blogs and news accounts about Uganda. It seems people in the West are about 3 to 5 years behind times. The disinformation and misinformation regarding Uganda and the war in the north is overwhelming. Where was the West when all Hell was breaking loose in Northern Uganda?
Now, when there has been quiet and rebuilding about the North of Uganda, every one is getting on band wagon, but there is no war in Uganda. No night commuter children, no abductees, the border with DRC where Kony is presently has been beefed up, the cessation of fire is still in place, the peace Treaty has not been signed because of International Criminal Court Indictment...let Africans handle the things of Africa, it might be done differently but it will be handled, but the Acholis have a ceremony of the bitter drink, where past enemies sit down and agree never to war again and drink a bitter drink potion to remind them of the harm done and reconciled with restitution.
Please ask yourself, where do you get your news about the war in Uganda? Have you researched local newspapers here, including opposition ones that certainly would come out swinging ... Uganda is on the mend, help Uganda recover by writing the truth about the present state of affairs in this country, not about 5 years ago...give Uganda and the people of the North an opportunity to rebuild their lives and recover...thank you...an American in Kampala...I will take you personally to the North and you can see the rebuilding of Uganda, slow as it is...Kony is in the DRC...not Uganda...and Uganda is helping the DRC with some success in diminishing the capabilities of Kony...from Kampala...jon
Update May 7, 2009
The Ugandan government has withdrawn its troops from the DRC. The DRC Army is supposed to finish the job, quite doubtful and MONUC the so called UN peace keeping forces are a joke. They are often been more occupied with gold and diamonds, selling weapons back to rebels of all kinds and causing havoc amongst the population at large in the DRC.
As much as I dislike France's role in Africa, especially their direct involvement in the Genocide in 1994 doing all that they could to keep the English speaking rebels from taking over Rwanda, and the now 14 revisionist books published in France about that Genocide, in my judgment, a small contingent of the French Foreign Legion should be able to do the job in a week that the Ugandan Army has been unable to do in 23 years. (Ugandans and South Sudanese have appealed for US or UK military support such as Special Forces to assist in the capture of Kony.)
Every day that Kony is free more mystical powers are attributed to him as someone who is protected by his spirit guide...hmm. He reminds me of the German Colonel von Lettow (who was not led by a demonic spirit) who went undefeated in WWI in East Africa, a handful of officers, a contingent of Tanzanian Askaris (soldiers-Guards) he went undefeated during the whole war against 30,000 soldiers from UK, India, South Africa, Belgium, Portugal and Kenya, he lived in the bush like Kony, adapted to his surrounding and took his supplies from the enemy. Kony has gotten his supplies from Khartoum and some anti-Ugandan government supporters. Just a few days ago some trucks with supplies were captured by the South Sudanese, the destination of the trucks - Joseph Kony, PO Box Garamba National Park, DRC...from Kampala...jon
Update May 13 2009
Thing have quieted down in the media here in Uganda. There is nothing about Joseph Kony. The peace plan is still on the table, but has not been signed by Kony because he fears the ICC indictment. The consensus here is to continue the way of peace.
Operation Lightning Thunder weakened Kony, but in the quiet of the Garamba Jungle he could be rebuilding for another day. A lot of damage has been done even in hat area with thousand displaced, over a thousand killed, many maimed for life, women raped, some people enslaved to do the farming for the LRA and the cat with nine lives escapes to face another day.
I see where congress is being involved in brining the Joseph Saga to an end. We would all be happy about that including this American living in Kampala. However like the Ugandan Army has been unable to get their man Joseph Kony, so the American Military has been unable to get the man whom they have been seeking for years, Bin Laden.
One has to only look at the recent involvement of the American Military in Operation Lightning Thunder where the man Kony was long gone when the bombs fell. There are only two ways to end this mess, sign the peace treaty and try Kony in Uganda, allow his own people to deal with him.
My other thought is a bit crazier, send in a small contingent of French Foreign Legionnaires and in one week they will have Kony, extract whoever is still in the camps. They have a proven track records in Africa, often quietly for extracting people.
Update May 14 2009
American Military Personnel are in Uganda and assisting in rebuilding Northern Uganda. That is simply great and they are doing a great job with some bridges that have been out in Northern Uganda and will help rebuilding the infrastructure of the North of Uganda.
Update May 15 2009
The Ugandan government is investigating some claims that Joseph Kony will be attacking in Western Uganda near the Kasese area by joining up with a former rebel group. It appears to be more talk than bite at this time.
Nothing further has been announced by the government regarding this as of May 28th 2009
Update May 28 2009 reported by the online edition of Uganda Pulse - my comments added
John Nagenda, Presidential Advisor Media and Public Relations, is reported as saying by the Ugandan Pulse an online news service "that the LRA rebels led by Joseph Kony no longer deserve any mercy." He goes on to say "that the government should fight the LRA rebels until it kills all of them because, according to Nagenda, "the LRA has no political motives for waging war."
He further states "the LRA rebels have defiled the God’s principles by defiling young girls, killing innocent civilians, raping women, recruiting children in the army and displacing millions of people in northern Uganda."
John Nagenda continues by saying "accuses LRA rebels for reportedly forcing people to do inhuman acts like killing their relatives, cooking their relatives and sometimes forcing victims to eat their relatives who rebels have hacked to death."
John Nagenda, is a man whose insights and commentaries I enjoy and relish. In the above comments he states "The LRA rebels no longer deserve mercy." What about those who were abducted against their will? The amnesty law has not been changed in Uganda and presently LRA rebels who turn themselves in receive amnesty as over 24,000 already have. Most agree that the adult leaders such as Kony should receive a different treatment than the victims.
John Nagenda states "that the government should fight the LRA rebels until it kills all of them." There are a lot of parents in the north of Uganda and in the Teso region of eastern Uganda who are still awaiting the homecoming of their children and to kill all of them means killing the abductees, both combatants and enslaved girls and women. It is one thing to speak in such terms such as Kony, but in the crossfire abducted children will be killed.
John Nagenda says that the "LRA recruited children." It is fact that children were abducted which makes them victims, they did not join willingly but were kidnapped from their villages and towns, their homes and schools.
Fortunately these are John Nangenda's comments and not comments coming from parliament or from President Museveni. I think a lot of people would question what has been said by Mr. Nagenda who is usually a very astute, thoughtful, if not though provoking person. I think Mr. Nagenda like a lot of people is frustrated that there has has been no conclusion to the Joseph Kony, LRA nightmare in central Africa. I certainly could not agree more... My solution is to send an elite squad of French Legionnaire paratroopers into Garamba Park and take Kony out, extracting the children...the result...an almost instant end of the LRA...from Kampala...jon
(PS I do not like the French role in Africa, it has been very paternal and in Rwanda...hmmm...their track record stinks, but the French Foreign Legion has a track record of extraction of people held hostage by circumstances and individuals such as Kony. They come lightly packed, do not need a huge support system...in and out, the job is done...)
Update June 8, 2009 LRA raids village and kidnaps 200 including 50 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo
After a period of quiet since Operation Lightning Thunder was concluded by the Ugandan Army, the LRA has resorted to its pattern of killing, raping, maiming and kidnapping.
Radio Okapi, a UN sponsored radio station reported that a LRA contingent attacked the village of Dakwa in north-eastern Congo. They looted the village, burned down houses, shops, a clinic and the Catholic mission.
The villagers had gathered for a memorial service for a person when the LRA surrounded them and hauled 200 people into the bush. One policeman was killed and other may have also been killed or wounded. People fled the area to seek safety.
The government promised troop support and more police for the area however 200 people were abducted. Adults will be used as farm laborers to tend the gardens, the women raped, the children turned into sex slaves if they are girls and the boys into soldiers.
Update June 10, 2009 France no longer supports the Peace Talks with the LRA calling them fruitless and that the LRA needs to be eliminated. In the USA there is legislation to wipe out Kony and the LRA.
The French government could easily send in a small contingent of Legionnaires and get the job done in a short period of time. These troops are highly trained to survive and thrive, do battle with minimal logistical support. Though France did not announce that they would enter into the LRA fracas themselves, it would be good, if without fanfare and news pronouncements they simply got the job done.
There is talk of using the Ugandan Army again to do the job. The last time during December 2008, they did so with American advice and support but were not successful in eliminating Joseph Kony.
Kony's LRA has most likely recovered some of their strength and maybe even equipment, though weakened can still create havoc amongst the population of the DRC.
Update June 12, 2009 A European Union official stated Uganda must prioritize reviving talks with the LRA to end the menace of her home-grown rebellion, now “exported” to regional neighbors - eastern DRC and south Sudan. This was reported in the Monitor Newspaper June 12th in Kampala. Once again one can see that the European Union and the United States are poles apart. In the USA there is legislation to eliminate the LRA and Joseph Kony because he is a regional menace.
It shows two different mindsets, the USA - take Kony out, the European Union lets talk...revive the peace talk. The European Union had funded much of the peace talks previously, the US had given military advice and support to the Ugandan Army.
The European Union is likely to ruffle the feathers of the Kampala government led by President Museveni by stating that Uganda has exported the problem and created a regional menace. President Museveni feels that the December attack on Kony that went on for several months weakened the capabilities of the LRA and reduced the regional menace.
A French General was quoted in the same Monitor article as saying "proponents of the exclusive use of military force to annihilate the rebels are misguided because victories in field battles singularly do not end armed revolts." The poor general is poorly misinformed. The LRA has long ago ceased to be an armed revolt, it is simply criminal activity by a thug by the name of Joseph Kony. Is he trying to overthrow the government of the DRC where he presently has found refuge in the jungles of the eastern DRC? No, he is simply in a survival mode, striking out when he needs things, such as more workers and soldiers as the recent capture of 200 people in the DRC shows.
Update June 25, 2009: Several organization are lobbying congress in USA to end the Joseph Kony menace in Central Africa. Their effort is to be applauded, their solutions are questioned by many here as being more of the same thing that has taken place for 23 years. The legislation calls for a renewal of attacks on Kony. Here we go again, a repetition of the Lightning Thunder operation that reduced Kony's capabilities with American support and advice, but did not finish him. In fact this snake when attacked seems to spit into many parts each one striking out at the civilian population in the area. Some of the children that are meant to be rescued will wind up being killed.
Again, I applaud the efforts, but like many in the Acholi community question the sound of war drums unless it is sending in a team that is strictly there to take our Kony and his commanders. Here I go again, send in a squad of the French Foreign Legion and they will get the job done in a week, or call up Paul Kagame and have a group of his soldiers take out Kony, they are some of the toughest in the world and Kagame is one of the most brilliant strategists when it comes to guerilla tactics and he probably would know better than anyone else how someone such as Kony thinks and how to attack him. From Kampala...jon
July 1 2009 Joseph Kony Update:
Joseph Kony is in Bush, however he is not out of touch. He does have satellite phones, he communicates with people and today it is reported in the "Monitor" newspaper that Kony will send two LRA commanders for peace talks along with other LRA
Is it another stalling tactic? Is he hearing the rumblings of another attack? His spokesperson David Nyekorach- Matsanga is calling for another round of peace talks and gives the ICC indictments as the reason the last ones failed in 2008. The press release statements are supposed to be the latest words of Joseph Kony, mixed with Mr. Matsanga's input. At other times we have seen spokes persons to come forth, only to be replaced. Let us hope that negotiations will start up again and peace will come to Uganda and Central Africa.
Press Release from the LRA David Nyekorach- Matsanga Leader of the LRA Peace Delegation and Chief Negotiator.
July 3 2009 LRA Survivors:
There is a group of people in northern Uganda who have been almost forgotten. Those whose lips, ears, noses, arms, hands, feet were cut off and whose bodies were mutilated by the LRA. Afterwards they were deserted by husbands by wives, by families left to themselves. Their life became a mere existence, their bodies grotesquely mutilated, these now men and women had little hope. The Ugandan government has just announced that a compensation would be given to them. It is not known how such a compensation would be carried out and what standards would be used.
July 3 2009 IDP returnees Update:
The local media reported that Ten Acholi children have died from hunger as they returned to their villages. It has also been reported that most of the children that have died were orphans who simply had no one taken care of them. In some cases they ate local cassava that was poisonous. Cassava that is not stored properly can contain poison especially if it is in damp environment.
July 3 2009 US Ambassador Stephen Browning
Out going US Ambassador Stephen Browning announced in a press conference that he was disappointed that the people of the North, especially the returnees from IDP camps were still needing food handouts, stating “It’s so dehumanizing and unhealthy to depend on hand-outs. I think it is my biggest disappointment,” Mr Browning said at the end of his over three-year tenure at Kampala.
July 3 2009 Uganda prosecuting Joseph Kony:
There is a deep resentment in regards to the ICC indictments from many sides in Uganda. The ICC Bill 2006 now in the Ugandan parliament allows Uganda to try people such as Joseph Kony in Uganda instead of in Holland.
Below taken from the Monitor Ugandan newspaper:
The Bill also opens the door to victims of the war to present their grievances directly in a national court. The Bill, primarily intended to domesticate the Rome Statute, which was ratified by Uganda in 1998, addresses the framework for trying perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
According to Prof. David Ntanda Nsereko, the president of the Appeals Division at the Hague-based ICC, one reason why Uganda needs the law is because the country bears the primary responsibility to prosecute perpetrators of such heinous crimes. It was also revealed that the passing of such a Bill would empower local courts to carry out trials rather than having to appeal to The Hague.
"It brings justice closer to the people than say if [trials] were taken far away to Northern Europe," Justice Nsereko said.
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