Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

CAR insists president is in talks with war lord Kony

The Central African president insisted on Friday he was negotiating with Joseph Kony after Washington rubbished claims the wanted Ugandan militia boss was personally involved in any talks.

Michel Djotodia is in contact with Kony, one of the world's most elusive war criminals, over the fate of the children and women enslaved by his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), presidency spokesperson Guy-Simplice Kodegue said.

Kony has been wanted since 2005 by the International Criminal Court for a raft of crimes against humanity – including rape, murder, sexual enslavement and child enlistment – that have earned him a reputation as one of the most brutal rebel leaders in recent history.

The 50-year-old's health is believed to have deteriorated after years on the run in some of Africa's most hostile regions but it was not immediately clear if the purported talks were part of a broader surrender deal.

"There are stateless children, women, elderly people" with Kony and his men, Kodegue said.

The LRA started a quarter century ago as a northern Ugandan insurgency battling Yoweri Museveni's regime.

Extortionist
But it has since become a multinational mercenary and extortionist gang sowing terror in a vast area straddling the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Sudan.

The group is known for abducting civilians after looting their villages and killing off any resistance, using them as porters and sex slaves.

"All this has led the Central African authorities, first among them the president, to consider a phase of negotiations," Kodegue said.

Djotodia, whose country has been sliding into chaos since he seized power in a March coup, is himself under increasing pressure from the international community, including the United States.

He announced at a political meeting in Bangui on Thursday that he was personally in contact with the elusive Kony, whom he said "wants to come out of the bush".

But the United States, which has spearheaded the hunt since an Internet rights campaign went viral last year and thrust Kony into the international spotlight, quickly moved to cast doubt over Djotodia's assertion.

US officials said that while the embattled Central African leader may have been in talks with some LRA-affiliated fighters trying to cut a deal, there was no reason to believe Kony was directly involved in any negotiations. – AFP

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and access the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, you can a full year’s access for just R510. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Malema: ANC will use load-shedding to steal votes

While on the campaign trail in the Eastern Cape, EFF leader Julius Malema, without evidence, claimed the ANC was planning to use rolling blackouts to ‘steal votes’

Khaya Koko: The looting isn’t over until the fat belly...

A song about Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane preventing looting was way off the mark in a province riddled with corruption and theft

Eskom will try to avoid blackouts during local government elections

Chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said the ailing state power utility’s staff would be on standby as South Africans cast their votes on 1 November

‘Terribly scary’: Dysfunctional municipalities are a threat to South Africa’s...

The country’s local governments are a drag on investment, a strain on the fiscus and pose a critical sovereign risk
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×