Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony revealed the answer my question from last week, namely by choosing not to reveal himself. Hopes for peace in northern Uganda were dashed over the weekend, as Kony opted to stay put in his remote Congolese jungle hideout, instead of venturing to the Sudanese border to sign a long-anticipated peace deal with the Ugandan government. Despite the buildup, Kony’s nonappearance was ultimately unsurprising, as his commitment to the bedraggled peace process was always undermined by his powerful antipathy to the prospect of facing ICC prosecution. Nonetheless, this comes as an unfortunate blow to the people of northern Uganda, many of whom, even including Kony’s victims, have even been willing to drop ICC jurisdiction in the interest of peace.

While the Ugandan delegation officially remains committed, and cautiously hopeful about, the stalled peace process, the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, has also branded Kony as “not serious.” Museveni is likely engaging in a bit of spin, taking advantage of Kony’s defection to play up his own image as the one committed to peace, but there is a good deal of truth in his characterization of the rebel leader. The LRA’s own top negotiator, David Matsanga, an admitted opponent of Museveni, resigned out of frustration with Kony’s tactics, which he described to Voice of America.

“I have decided that I can no longer tolerate the type of tricks that are involved in the LRA by the leadership. When general Joseph Kony tells me that I want to sign this agreement on this date, and then he doesn’t turn up. He doesn’t even call me to tell me that he is not going to be in such and such a place, so that I can tell the world and other people not to come.”

An even more ominous sign coming out of the LRA camp — and a fate that Matsanga has thus far avoided — is the killing of nine rebel leaders in an apparent conflict over whether or not to sign the agreement. The idea of suspending ICC indictments becomes increasingly distasteful when a group — a listed terrorist organization, mind you — is willing to kill its own members in a debate over peace.

Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony revealed the answer my question from last week, namely by choosing not to reveal himself. Hopes for peace in northern Uganda were dashed over the weekend, as Kony opted to stay put in his remote Congolese jungle hideout, instead of venturing to the Sudanese border to sign a long-anticipated peace deal with the Ugandan government. Despite the buildup, Kony’s nonappearance was ultimately unsurprising, as his commitment to the bedraggled peace process was always undermined by his powerful antipathy to the prospect of facing ICC prosecution. Nonetheless, this comes as an unfortunate blow to the people of northern Uganda, many of whom, even including Kony’s victims, have even been willing to drop ICC jurisdiction in the interest of peace.

While the Ugandan delegation officially remains committed, and cautiously hopeful about, the stalled peace process, the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, has also branded Kony as “not serious.” Museveni is likely engaging in a bit of spin, taking advantage of Kony’s defection to play up his own image as the one committed to peace, but there is a good deal of truth in his characterization of the rebel leader. The LRA’s own top negotiator, David Matsanga, an admitted opponent of Museveni, resigned out of frustration with Kony’s tactics, which he described to Voice of America.

“I have decided that I can no longer tolerate the type of tricks that are involved in the LRA by the leadership. When general Joseph Kony tells me that I want to sign this agreement on this date, and then he doesn’t turn up. He doesn’t even call me to tell me that he is not going to be in such and such a place, so that I can tell the world and other people not to come.”

An even more ominous sign coming out of the LRA camp — and a fate that Matsanga has thus far avoided — is the killing of nine rebel leaders in an apparent conflict over whether or not to sign the agreement. The idea of suspending ICC indictments becomes increasingly distasteful when a group — a listed terrorist organization, mind you — is willing to kill its own members in a debate over peace.

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