Commentary by Peter Eichstaedt from his blog post - The good, the bad, the ugly
- Saturday, November 14, 2009. Excerpts:
This past week, Norah Anek, the 86-year-old mother of Joseph Kony, the leader of the militia-cult Lord's Resistance Army, passed away. She was buried not far from where she gave birth to Kony in the town of Adek, about an hour's drive southeast of Gulu in northern Uganda.
According to the nurse who was present at her death, "Moments before dying she said, 'Tell Joseph Kony to make peace,'"
She earlier had said that Kony's problem, the thing that drives him, was that he is possesed by evil spirits.
One can only hope that she was able to find some peace, having been saddled with the unenviable fame of having given birth to perhaps one the world's most notorious and deadly cult leaders.
Norah Anek's explanation for her son's behavior, possession by spirits, contains a nugget of wisdom that apparently cannot be grasped by those who continue to think and advocate appeasement as a way to deal with Kony and his vicious militia.
The latest of these statements surfaced on November 6, titled, "Elements of a New Strategy to Disarm the LRA," written by François Grignon, Africa Program Director of the International Crisis Group.
As I wrote in First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army, I was in Nabanga, South Sudan, in July 2006 when the first convoy of supplies was delivered to Kony and his LRA.
The gesture had doubtful merit even back then. Feed Kony as long as he stayed at the peace talks? It worked for a while, but it wasn't long before Kony and the LRA were back to killing, looting and abducting, even as food supplies were being delivered.
This aiding and abetting of an indicted war criminal, which was illegal, reached a depressing height in the spring of 2008 when Kony rounded up some 500 abductees from the Central African Republic, the DR Congo, and South Sudan. Yet, it continued.
It was done while Kony's opportunistic cheerleader, David Matsanga, proclaimed that Kony was going to sign the negotiated peace deal, which he did not, in April or May, and then again at the end of November.
The UN, meanwhile, was actively attempting to keep it all quiet because they were afraid that Kony would abandon the peace talks because of the logical outrage that would be generated. This was immoral.
The December 14 attack on Kony's camps in Garamba National Park failed, we all know.
It is clear that the LRA's capacity to intercept information about the pending attack, flee from it, and then go on an extended killing rampage had been enabled by the international community's "feed the lion" approach.
Kony, afterall, is an Africa problem, not one that needs to be dealt with by either the US or any European countries. Where are the leaders of the DR Congo and South Sudan? Why should the US have to call them up and hand them a pot of money so they will do their jobs?
Where are the African leaders who are so quick to condemn western nations who dole out aid with strings attached, such as insuring that aid money is spend for the purpose it was intended. Why do they shrink into the shadows when there is work to be done?
The citizens of the DRC and South Sudan are dying at the hands of the LRA. Why does the US or EU need to bribe these leaders into action?
Forget more peace talks. Kony has more than humiliated the international community already with his lies, with his looting and killing.
Kony's mother had it right when she said her son was possessed. She knew, unlike some people, that we're not dealing with a rational person. Kony needs to be treated like the psychopathic killer that he is.
Maybe just once, finally, countries in the region (with EU and US support) can do the right thing: find and capture Kony, send him to The Hague, and end the madness.
See Grigin's posting at: http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6381&l=1
Posted By Peter Eichstaedt to Peter Eichstaedt at 11/14/2009 07:41:00 AM
Labels: Adek, Gulu, Matsanga, Norah Anek