My own “acquaintance” with Joseph Kony goes back to a post that appears in this blog, dated December 18, 2008. In that post it was stated that the combined forces of Uganda, Congo and the Southern Sudan had begun a joint operation against Joseph Kony’s ‘Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). That information was based on an article in the previous day’s ‘New York Times’, and it was substantiated by a number of reports elsewhere in the media. Well, with the Ugandans, the Congolese and the south Sudanese after him at the time, my assumption then was that Kony by now would be dead or, at least, awaiting trial.
Musa Okwonga’s article in yesterday’s ‘Independent’, however, was a timely reminder that Kony is still foot loose and fancy free, running riot, kidnapping, raping, abducting and press-ganging. That is quite simply a statement of fact and while it is worthy of our intention, it is, nevertheless, Mr Okwonga’s hypothesis that “there is most likely another host of bad guys out there letting him get on with it,” that should get us asking the real questions? Why has he not been caught? In whose interests is it that he has not been caught?
One reason might be that Museveni, the Ugandan president, who himself is accused of war crimes in the DR Congo, still considers Kony, who is after all Acholi, to be an important pretext for his ethnic cleansing of the Acholi people. He and his brother, Major General Salim Saleh, ostensibly believe that it is necessary to use the military and armed attacks to move the Acholi people off of their own land against their will for their own “protection” With it being contended that more than one million Acholis have perished in the camps in the last twenty-five years, we are reminded of another sinister “Schutzhaft” . Furthermore, even if the official number of internally displaced persons has been substantially reduced during the last four years, it would appear that the Acholi people are faced with a second genocide, with Museveni unlawfully allocating their fertile and mineral rich lands to an “investment” group.
Especially, eye-catching, however, is Washington’s decision to deploy 100 US troops in October 2011 to Uganda, supposedly in order to contribute to efforts in the hunt for Joseph Kony. Is this more evidence that Museveni and the U.S. government is using the LRA as an excuse to send in troops to secure oil and other resources not only in Uganda, but also in the DR Congo and South Sudan, as is suggested by Milton Allimadi? One thing is for certain, the slaughter in central and eastern Africa will continue and American troops won’t be leaving the area in a hurry, and Joseph Kony? Well, we can expect his cosy relationship with Khartoum to lead to him to doing Omar al-Bashir’s dirty work in Dafur. Yes, Joseph wielding his machete can be useful to a diverse range of sad, mad, bad, bastards and it is the people of the region we should pity.