04 April 2008

Kony upsets Acholi leaders

Children beleived to be with Kony up to now. FIle Photo

ACHOLI leaders have asked LRA leader Joseph Kony not make it a habit to continue giving excuses to postpone the signing of the final peace agreement.

“We have to exercise patience but Kony should also stop postponing the signing,” Gulu LC5 chairman Norbert Mao said on Wednesday.

“Many of us were disappointed with the abrupt message of extension up to April 14 because this is the second time they are delaying the process.”

Since Kony was the one who requested for the peace talks, Mao added, he must demonstrate that he was serious by personally signing the final peace agreement.

The chief LRA negotiator in the Juba talks, David Matsanga, on Tuesday said Kony would not be able to make it from Garamba forests to Ri-Kwangba, where he was due to sign on April 3. He suggested April 10 as the day Kony could sign.

“We agreed to keep our fingers crossed and avoid speculation about the failure by Kony to sign the final peace agreement on April 3 as planned,” noted Kenneth Oketta, the prime minister of Ker Kwaro Acholi.

“And this should not create a lot of anxiety among the people. Let’s avoid speculation which may derail the whole peace process and wait until it has been confirmed that Kony will not sign because so far, five agreements have been signed and this is the only one left,” he added.

Samuel Oduny, an elder in Gulu, observed that Kony was unpredictable, adding that it was not the first time he was “playing games.”

“Right from 1994 to date, Kony has not shown seriousness in peace talks. I have no hope for these talks. If he signs, well and good but I doubt,” he stated.

But the Gulu resident district commissioner, Col. Walter Ochora, explained that he got communication from the Central African Republic (where Kony is reportedly living) that the rebel leader was moving towards Ri-Kwangba, to append his signature on the peace agreement.

According to the RDC, the only rebel commander who had reached Ri-Kwangba was Abudema, adding that there had been poor coordination between Kony and members of the peace team on the date of signing.

Kony, Ochora advised, should have told Matsanga the exact date when he would be ready to sign “other than keeping people on their toes.”

But the district youth chairman, Christopher Omara, appealed to Kony to release all the children, expectant and breast-feeding mothers to show his committment to the realisation of peace.
By Chris Ochowum

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