Tuesday, May 30, 2006

South Sudan's VP Kiir defends $20K to LRA's Kony

Reuters report May 30, 2006 via Sudan Tribune - excerpt:
Sudan's First Vice President Salva Kiir defended giving aid to the wanted Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) saying it would help start peace talks and stop them looting and killing in the lawless south.

In a videotaped meeting in early May between south Sudan's vice president, Riek Machar, and LRA chief Joseph Kony, Machar secured a request for peace talks and handed Kony a wad of cash saying it was $20,000 to buy "food...not ammunition."

Kiir, also president of autonomous southern Sudan, said the LRA had chosen the path of peace and approached his government to mediate talks with the Ugandan government. Kampala has given Kony until the end of July to stop the rebellion before talks.

"This is the only way to stop them from killing, from raping ... what is wrong with that if that can bring them back to law abiding citizens of Uganda?" Kiir asked reporters late on Monday night in Khartoum.

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