Sunday, March 21, 2010

Enough's report re LRA in S. Darfur, Sudan may not be true

FROM Peter Eichstaedt's blog
Sunday, 21 March 2010:
The widely publicized report from Enough that Joseph Kony had found safe haven in south Darfur as guests of the Sudan government, may not be true.

A story last Friday by Nairobi-based reporter, Alisha Ryu of the Voice of America radio, titled, "
Reports That LRA's Kony is Hiding in Darfur Alarm South Sudan," quotes an Enough researcher as saying no one really knows where Kony is.

As I and others have warned for several years now, the story adds that officials in South Sudan are worried that Kony is being equipped and preparing for attacks in advance of the south's elections next month and next year.

Additionally, as reported in this blog last week, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said that his military intelligence officials suspected that Kony, who had fled the Central African Republic, had joined LRA units in south Darfur.

However, when Ryu contacted Ledio Cakaj, the Kampala-based researcher for Enough, Cakaj said Kony's whereabouts is unknown.

"Kony could be anywhere," Cakaj told Ryu. "Having spoken to the Ugandan military intelligence services, I have found out that the military intelligence is not sure what happened to Kony," said Cakaj.

"There was a belief that he tried to go into south Darfur," the researcher added. "But it is very likely that he turned south. And we have heard - I would say fairly credible reports - he might have even crossed into Congo last week, close to Bas-Uele in Province Orientale," Cakaj added.

If Kony had crossed into the Congo when Cakaj suggests, it was within days of when Enough announced that it had confirmed that Kony was in Darfur.

As I showed last week, the Enough announcement was very old news. But more worrisome is that the announcement raises questions about both the veracity, motivation, and timing of it, since so many people look to Enough for guidance.

By contrast, comments made by Enough's Cakaj have the clear ring of truth.

Assuming that Cakaj's comments are correct, it means trouble is on the move. If Kony has already "moved south," and could be in northeastern Congo, he mostly likely has been resupplied.

If that is true, it would make sense for Kony to return to the Congo and regroup his forces for strikes into South Sudan. These strikes could come as early as the next couple of weeks and certainly by next month's general elections.

This eventuality is sadly the worst, but most likely of all.

Peter Eichstaedt at 3/21/2010.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was my interpretation that the Enough report did not mean to say Kony himself is in Darfur but that some of the LRA are in South Darfur. Not knowing where Kony is does not dispute that report. Kony could very well be in the DRC or South Sudan with a contingent still in Darfur. The main argument is that, if they are in Darfur, they are probably getting support from Khartoum, much like earlier times in this war.