Kony wants new meeting
Publish Date: Jul 07, 2008
Newvision Archive
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By Milton Olupot

LRA leader Joseph Kony has expressed renewed interest in signing the final peace agreement, government sources have said.
“Joseph Kony has called (UN Special Envoy) President Chissano and called for a meeting of his delegation, the chief mediator and a representative of Chissano,” internal affairs minister Ruhakana Rugunda told The New Vision yesterday.

“The meeting is about preparations to sign a final peace agreement.”
Chissano reportedly briefed President Museveni on Sunday about the new developments.

Earlier, the UN envoy met Riek Machar and the leader of the LRA team, David Matsanga, in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

Reuters news agency quoted Chissano as telling reporters in Juba on Saturday that he had spoken to the elusive rebel chief by satellite telephone.

“He promised to conclude the process. This (meeting) is a step towards a conclusion,” Chissano said.

Addressing the same news conference, the chief mediator for the talks, south Sudan’s Vice-President Riek Machar, said no date had been set yet for the meeting.

“We will meet and we hope he signs,” Machar said. “If Joseph Kony has other issues to discuss, we’ll discuss with him.”

On April 10, Kony failed to show up for the signing of the final peace agreement. He later told the mediator he needed more information on the accountability clause.

He said he needed clarification on the traditional justice system, the International Criminal Court and the special division of the High Court set up to try serious crimes in northern Uganda.

But a group of elders invited in May to provide him with the information waited in vain for five days near the assembly point in South Sudan.

The two-decade long war uprooted two million people and destabilised South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At an AU summit in Egypt last week, the top US diplomat for Africa warned that Kony was re-arming, and said the UN should boost its peacekeeping force in Congo to contain or catch him.
“He is re-arming himself. He’s preparing himself militarily and so we can’t just stand by when he is doing that,” Jendayi Fraser said.

“We would hope the UN would increase its capability so that it can provide support for the Congolese forces so that they can, at a minimum, contain him and he can’t attack villages, and preferably pursue him until he agrees to sign the agreement or until he’s actually apprehended.”

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