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Cablegate: Northern Uganda: Kony Requests Another Meeting with Lra

VZCZCXRO5271
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1228/01 2481331
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041331Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0673
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0735
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 001228

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREF PREL MOPS UG SU
SUBJECT: NORTHERN UGANDA: KONY REQUESTS ANOTHER MEETING WITH LRA
DELEGATION

1. (SBU) Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony has
requested that UN officials make arrangements for another meeting
with his negotiators to discuss the Final Peace Agreement (FPA). UN
Special Envoy for LRA-Affected Areas Joachim Chissano's Office in
Kampala is making arrangements for the meeting to take place on
September 6 at Rikwangba, Southern Sudan. The head of the office,
Warner Ten Kate, is pessimistic that the meeting will hold because
Kony has accused his chief negotiator, David Matsanga, of assisting
the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA) in setting up an ambush
against him. Four LRA defectors who arrived in Kampala on August 29
report that Kony has no intention of attending the last meeting and
has no plans to sign the FPA. End Summary.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
KONY ASKS FOR NEW MEETING DATE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (SBU) On August 28, LRA leader Joseph Kony called Warner Ten
Kate to reschedule a date for a meeting with the LRA delegation.
According to Ten Kate, Kony said that he now understood that he
would not have to surrender himself or his soldiers if he showed up
at a meeting with his delegation to discuss the FPA. Kony told Ten
Kate that he believed that the skirmish between LRA and SPLA on
August 21 was evidence of a set-up by Matsanga. Kony allegedly
believes Matsanga, Government of Southern Sudan mediator Riek
Machar, and the SPLA are colluding to kill him. As a result, Ten
Kate is not optimistic that the meeting will hold. Nonetheless, the
UN has agreed to provide two helicopters (one for the participants
and the other for Machar and his bodyguards to attend the meeting).
If the plan holds, Chissano will arrive in Kampala on September 5.
The group will depart for Juba on September 6 and then travel to
Rikwangba the same day.

3. (SBU) The SPLA sent a high-level team to Rikwangba to meet with
the LRA on September 3 to smooth over any issues related to the past
skirmishes, according to Ten Kate. The donor-provided food remains
at Nabanga and the LRA can decide whether to accept it. Ten Kate
told P/E Chief that he does not expect the LRA leader to show up for
the meeting. Ten Kate also stated that he suspects that something
will come up to prevent Matsanga from attending given Matsanga's
fear that Kony wants to kill him. Ten Kate stated that if this
attempted meeting fails to materialize, in his view, it would be
time to bring the peace process to closure.

4. (SBU) Ten Kate had read the press reports of the U.S.
designation of Kony as a global terrorist and asked if the U.S. move
would anger Kony. Matsanga read about the elevated designation and
told Ten Kate that the move was "administrative" in nature because
the LRA was already on the U.S. terrorist list. Matsanga also
reiterated his position on several websites.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NEW LRA DEFECTORS SAY KONY NOT INTERESTED IN PEACE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (SBU) Four more LRA defectors arrived in Kampala on August 29.
Okello Richard, Odong Moses, Ochaya Charles, and Ojara Patrick, were
signalers in Kony's Control Alter (High Command). They range in age
from 19 to 25 and have spent between three and twelve years in
captivity. They range in rank from private to sergeant. Three of
the defectors escaped together in the middle of the night. They
walked for a day and one-half, traveling through the night to reach
Dungu. The fourth defector walked to a Congolese military unit,
where he said he was abused and was threatened with death. He
escaped and wandered around lost for five days before a local
administrator, who also harassed him, contacted the UN Mission in
Congo (MONUC).

6. (SBU) One of the defectors was part of an advance team that went
to Nabanga on August 21 to collect food that was provided for the
meeting between Kony and his negotiating team. When the LRA advance
team arrived at Nabanga, the SPLA fired upon them. Two SPLA
soldiers were killed in the ensuing firefight.

7. (SBU) According to the defectors, Kony has no intention of
attending a meeting with his delegation or surrendering. They agree
that Kony will continue to manipulate donors and the process in
order to get food and buy time. For tactical reasons, Kony could
send his deputy, Okot Odhiambo, to meet with the mediator and
facilitator. The defectors said that there are many more potential
escapees who are looking for opportunities to flee. The defectors
were adamant that Kony did not want a peace deal and that he killed
his former deputy, Vincent Otti, because the latter wanted peace.

8. (SBU) They said that Kony's youngest son, Joseph Kony Bush,
burned himself while playing near a pot of boiling water, and needed
medical attention. Bush's condition is serious and he is being
treated with traditional medicines. BG Dominic Ongwen is not ill,

KAMPALA 00001228 002 OF 002


but had spent two weeks in his house waiting out Kony's wrath.
Ongwen had gotten drunk and accidentally stepped on Kony's foot one
night at dinner. Kony was furious and threatened to demote Ongwen.
(Note: This would not be the first time Ongwen was in trouble with
Kony. He was in Kony's bad graces for consorting with the UPDF when
moving out of northern Uganda and southern Sudan. End Note.) Kony
does not drink and generally forbids it, but senior commanders often
engage in drinking.

- - - -
COMMENT
- - - -

9. (SBU) We do not believe that the proposed meeting between Kony
and his delegation will hold. If it does not, it will be up to
Chissano and Machar to determine whether to declare the peace
process dead, or to continuing pretending it's not.
BROWNING

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