Today The Observer reported that Uganda is set to resume the hunt for LRA leader Joseph Kony. This comes about a week after Uganda decided to suspend its counter-LRA operations. While the article is encouraging, we know that because of the recent CAR overthrow anything could change at any moment. So–until we see evidence that the counter-LRA operation has actually resumed forward momentum, we need to continue to call on the Ugandan government, the U.S., and the African Union to find a diplomatic solution that keeps the hunt for the LRA moving. The article is reposted below:
Uganda is set to resume the hunt for LRA leader Joseph Kony, following a meeting between the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and Ugandan authorities. A joint statement released on Friday said Uganda was represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga at Wednesday’s meeting. The acting UPDF spokesperson, Col Felix Kulayigye, said the army would resume operations after requisite consultations.
“We are ready and going to resume the hunt anytime from now. We suspended the hunt and said until we make consultations and this is one of them, whatever they say, we shall follow.” Kulayigye said on Saturday.
Ugandan troops suspended the hunt for fugitive warlord Kony in the jungles CAR citing discontent with the new government led by Michel Djotodia, which ordered foreign troops to leave the country
“The sudden change of regime in CAR has caused confusion in some minds. I want to reassure the national and international opinion that this has no impact on the commitment and the determination of the Ugandan authorities to support the fight against the LRA,” said
Francisco Madeira, the AU Special Envoy for the LRA, in the joint statement. Madeira was convinced that his upcoming visit to CAR would clarify and strengthen this position. The UN is also hoping that the new rulers will adhere to the recommendations of the Extraordinary Summit of Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) held on April 3 in Ndjamena, Chad.
“We must not give any chance to Joseph Kony and his elements to believe that there is a release and that they can continue to commit atrocities on the people with impunity,” said Abou Moussa, the special representative of the secretary-general and head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).
Over the past three years, the Uganda-led, US-supported AU operations in central Africa helped reduce the LRA’s killings of civilians by more than 90% and enabled dozens of LRA fighters and abductees to safely defect from the group. Last week, the NGO Invisible Children hosted a press conference at which it reiterated a civil society call on world leaders to continue the pursuit of Kony and other LRA leaders.
Photo Credit: New Vision