The Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader, Joseph Kony, has written to Ugandans seeking forgiveness and a resumption of peace talks to end the insurgency.
“I want to assure the people of Uganda that, we [LRA] are committed to a sustainable peaceful political settlement of our long war with the government of (President) Museveni,” Kony’s letter dispatched by Mr Mission Okello reads in part.
“We are willing and ready to forgive and seek forgiveness, and continue to seek peaceful means to end this war which has cut across a swathe of Africa for the people of the Great Lakes and the Nile-Congo Basin to find peace.”
The government-LRA peace talks hosted in Juba, South Sudan collapsed after Kony refused to sign the final peace agreement in 2008.
Kony is believed to be hiding in DR Congo and the Central African Republic. His atrocious war has been marked by abductions, looting and massacres.
However, in his letter Kony seeks to share the blame for the deaths during decades of rebellion with the government singling out renegade Gen David Sejusa as equally culpable.
He says he didn’t go to war because he was an aggressor but in self-defence.
However, government Media Centre boss Ofwono Opondo, dismissed Kony’s plea for fresh talks, saying he wasted the opportunity to hold peace talks. Instead, Mr Opondo advised Kony to surrender to UPDF or apply for amnesty and denounce rebellion before time runs out.
Kony also sought to whitewash himself saying some of the massacres in the north were committed by UPDF to “to spoil my name.”
He asked the International Criminal Court, which wants him for crimes against humanity to turn the heat on President Museveni and Gen Sejusa.
However, while responding to the above allegations Mr Opondo said: “The allegations against the President are wrong as people of Northern Uganda know who exactly cut off their lips and raped them.”
On the current war in South Sudan, Kony advised President Museveni to pull UPDF out of the country to give President Salva Kiir and his former vice president Dr Riek Machar, a chance to talk peace.
“I am pained to see the loss of life brought by the fight between our two brothers, President Kiir and his former deputy Dr Machar. President Museveni should take blame for splitting South Sudan, which has made the two to fight each other,” Kony wrote in a letter purportedly authored by the rebel leader.
This story was first published in the Daily Monitor