While Kony may be in South Darfur, the LRA has divided into three independent factions, one headed by Dominic Ongwen
Deja-vu, all over again
That was my reaction to last week's flurry of statements from various corners that Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the vicious Lord's Resistance Army, was settled somewhere in south Darfur.
Curiously, that information has been published and commented on for about six months, going back to an attack first reported last October: "Ugandan rebels attack Darfuris, kill five - army."
The story was reported by intrepid journalist Skye Wheeler, a Reuters correspondent in Juba, who rips around the gritty capital of South Sudan on a dirt bike.
The LRA attack was in the border regions of South Sudan and Darfur, targeting displaced Darfuris, and quoted South Sudan's army spokesman Kuol Diem Kuol.
Subsequent reports fueled speculation, including mine, that Kony had taken up refuge inside Dafur, helping himself to Sudan's hospitality just as he had done a decade earlier while fighting in northern Uganda.
Then Uganda President Yoweri Museveni said Friday that Kony had apparently "disappeared into Darfur," quoting his military sources.
Museveni then made his typical bravado comments about how the Uganda army has all but eliminated Kony, again revealing a short-term memory of his army's botched attack on Kony's camps in the Congo in December 2008.
That failed operation is largely why the world is still dealing with the Kony problem.
Museveni went on to say that while Kony may be in Darfur, the LRA has divided into three independent factions, one headed by Dominic Ongwen, who like Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court. Leadership and location of the third unit is unknown.
Just a day before Museveni spoke, the tireless people at Enough, also announced that Kony had found a safe haven in Darfur.
Now doing something about Kony and the LRA has only become more difficult due to the inexcusable delays to a bill regarding Kony that was finally acted on this past week by the U.S. Senate.
These needless delays in the bill, which requires the Obama administration to develop a plan to stop Kony, are the kind of inaction that has allowed Kony to survive and keep on killing, looting, abducting and mutilating.
With Kony now in Darfur, any overt action against him becomes all the more complicated, unless and until Kony decides to venture from his safe haven into South Sudan to disrupt the country's coming elections.
It will require constant pressure from groups like Invisible Children, Enough, and Resolve Uganda to keep up the pressure and insist that a plan and then action be taken to capture Kony and his marauding rebels.
Posted By Peter Eichstaedt to Peter Eichstaedt at 3/14/2010 12:19:00 PM