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TODAY IN HISTORY: Kony confirms Otti's death

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd January 2020 12:49 PM

"What crime have I committed? All along, I have been so good to you. Why can't you tell me my mistake? May God help you," Otti was quoted

TODAY IN HISTORY: Kony confirms Otti's death

Wilson Deng and Otti

"What crime have I committed? All along, I have been so good to you. Why can't you tell me my mistake? May God help you," Otti was quoted

FLASHBACK:
 
On this day in 2008, Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), confirmed the death of his deputy, Vincent Otti. We bring you the full story reported by New Vision on that day.
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Kony confirms Otti's death
 
 
By Henry Mukasa
 
Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA rebels has finally confirmed that his deputy, Vincent Otti, is dead.
 
Kony told Dr. Riek Machar, the chief mediator of the peace talks between the Government and the rebels that Otti, once an LRA strongman, is no more.
 
"I was officially informed by Joseph Kony that Vincent Otti is dead," Machar, who is also the Vice-President of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) said in Juba yesterday.
 
Machar made the remarks at his office while witnessing the hand-over of the former LRA delegation chairman, Martin Ojul, to the new team leader, Nyekorach Matsanga.
 
It is now official. I can tell you that Lt. Gen. Vincent Otti is absent. He is dead. That is what Machar said and that is what Gen. Joseph Kony said,” Matsanga said on telephone from Juba.
 
The New Vision broke the news of Otti's fate in October 2007 that the two rebel leaders had disagreed and fought from their hideout in the dense Garamba Park in Eastern DR Congo.
 
LRA fighters led by Sande Otto, who defected in the aftermath of Otti's killing reportedly by a firing squad, told of the ghastly and bizarre way the LRA number two met his death almost akin to the path he led many civilians in the North into.
 
"What crime have I committed? All along, I have been so good to you. Why can't you tell me my mistake? May God help you," Otti was quoted by Otto as having pleaded before his executioner, Buk Abudema, ordered: "Fire!"
 
Kony continued to deny Otti was dead, repeatedly claiming that he was being held incommunicado.
 
The LRA peace delegation, led by Ojul invented another version claiming that the hitherto outspoken Otti was silent because he was bed-ridden with cholera.
 
Later, when pressurised to explain Otti's fate during their countrywide tour, Ojul and his team reverted to Kony's assertion that Otti was in detention.
 
Matsanga will be deputised by Dr. Alfred Obita. Josephine Apira was Ojula's deputy. The spokesperson, Godfrey Ayoo and Otim Okullo were also dropped.
 
Other members of the team are Krispus Ayena Odongo as the legal advisor, Willy Oryem, Justin Labeja, Santa Okot and Yusuf Adek. More members, Matsanga said, would be appointed after consultations with the Acholi in the diaspora.
 
Otti, regarded as the brain behind the group in contrast to the volatile Kony, was a prime mover behind the LRA accepting talks. The defectors said Otti was killed because Kony felt he had become very popular because of his push for talks.
 
Matsanga downplayed the effect of Otti’s death on the talks. He said his team was facing forward and claimed that the parties convene in Juba on Monday to resume negotiations.
 
"Otti's fate is a closed chapter. He is absent. That matter is behind us. We are now concentrating on peace talks."
 
He disregarded the deadline of January 31, that was given by President Yoweri Museveni within which a deal at the talks should be concluded. "The deadline is on paper. It cannot be met in practice."
 
Matsanga said when the talks resume, the parties would review the reports on the consultations carried out across the country on accountability and reconciliation before forging a way forward.
 
The new LRA boss denied reports that his appointment had split the LRA or the delegation. "If you have been sacked and sent away, you cannot be happy. I am not Kony. I did not appoint them. He appointed them and sacked them," Matsanga asserted.
 
He, however, hinted that those sacked were blamed for misconduct. "Our (LRA) credibility was zero because of people doing shoddy deals."
 
Matsanga also called the Gulu-based Mega FM on Tuesday during the Dwog Paco (return home) programme to announce the reshuffle.
 
He said Ojul, Ayoo and Okullu were relieved of their duties because they were not willing to expedite the peace talks.
 
Additional reporting by Cornes Lubangakene.

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