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Cablegate: Northern Uganda: Lra Leader Elusive, Attacks in Drc

VZCZCXRO4041
OO RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1359/01 2731524
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291524Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0747
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0740
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 001359

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREF PREL MOPS UG SU
SUBJECT: NORTHERN UGANDA: LRA LEADER ELUSIVE, ATTACKS IN DRC

REF: KAMPALA 1310

1. (SBU) Summary: Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony
did not show up for another meeting that he requested with northern
Ugandan religious and traditional leaders on September 17. The
Ugandan Government was not surprised at the turn of events. Given
that Kony often reaches out to northern traditional leaders for help
when he is in trouble, Ugandan officials believe that his call to
the Acholi Paramount Chief, Rwot Acana, was the result of increased
military pressure on the LRA in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC). There were reports of increased Congolese military and U.N.
Mission to Congo (MONUC) activities in the area around Dungu, where
LRA attacks occurred on September 4-5. Kony continues to maintain
that the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrants be removed
before he signs the Final Peace Agreement (FPA). Kony's latest
failure to attend a meeting that he requested and the continued LRA
attacks in DRC have convinced even the most sympathetic of
northerners that he has no intention of signing a peace deal. End
Summary.

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CONGOLESE VILLAGERS RETALIATE AGAINST LRA IN DRC
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2. (SBU) On September 4 and 5, ten LRA members ambushed and
kidnapped a group of 16 Congolese villagers on their way to a market
along the Dungu/Firaz/Isoro Road, according to MONUC. The villagers
were from Dimba. The LRA members raped the women, one of whom was
the wife of the village chief. The villagers, armed with bows and
arrows, went after the ten LRA perpetrators. The LRA shot and
killed two villagers and wounded three. The villagers caught and
lynched two of the LRA. The others escaped and ran back to Kony's
camp and informed him about the retaliation by the local residents.
The chiefs of neighboring villages reportedly alerted Congolese
military units which were deployed in the area. In addition, MONUC
began moving around in the area on/about September 7 and 8. Kony
allegedly has become concerned about recent local press reports
about the augmentation of MONUC at Dungu.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ANOTHER KONY NO-SHOW ANGERS NORTHERN LEADERS
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3. (SBU) Kony called the Acholi Paramount Chief, Rwot Acana, and
other former LRA delegation members on September 11. Santa Okot, a
former LRA delegation leader, who was in on the conference call,
told P/E Chief that Kony was "frantic" and kept them on the line for
two hours. Kony told Acana that he wanted a meeting with the
northern leaders as soon as possible. As a result, several excited
leaders convinced Warner Ten Kate, the director of the U.N. Special
Envoy for LRA-Affected Areas office in Kampala, to go to Juba for
onward travel to Rikwangba and a meeting with Kony. The group
arrived in Juba on September 17 to see Government of Southern Sudan
mediator Riek Machar in order to make arrangements to meet Kony.
However, as soon as the group arrived in Juba, the entire LRA
leadership became unreachable, switching off all of their satellite
telephones.

4. (SBU) The northern leaders were disappointed that Kony did not
show up and had cut off all communications. Kony's actions also
dampened the hopes of some of his back-channel contacts, with whom
DCM and Deputy USAID Director met with on September 22 in Gulu.
Meanwhile, Kony has remained consistent in his position that he will
not/not lay down his arms until the International Criminal Court
(ICC) warrants are lifted. Kony's chief negotiator, David Matsanga,
who also went to Juba, said that Kony wants documentation that the
warrants are lifted before coming in from the bush.

5. (SBU) Machar and the northern leaders took the opportunity to
"meet" about "general issues surround the signing of the FPA."
Machar then released a face-saving communique stating that the FPA
must be signed as soon as possible as it is. Any clarifications
could be worked out through the mechanisms in the FPA. He suggested
that a team of fifteen people drawn from the conflict-affected areas
led by Acana be facilitated -- by donors -- in the future if needed.
(Note: Machar continues to seek funds from Kampala-based donors,
who have informed him that funds will only be available on a
case-by-case basis. U.N. Envoy Chissano stated that Kony must show
up in Rikwangba before his requests for a meeting would be taken
seriously. End note.)

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MORE LRA ATTACKS IN DRC, SOUTHERN SUDAN
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

6. (SBU) There were several additional LRA attacks and abductions
in Kiliwe, Duru, and Dungu, DRC, between September 17 and 20,
according to press reports. Up to 90 school children were abducted
from the Duru Institute and Kiliwa Primary School and a local chief

KAMPALA 00001359 002 OF 002


and his son were killed. Minister of Internal Affairs Ruhakana
Rugunda said that eight Congolese were killed in the attacks.
Catholic missionaries report that the LRA looted, abducted, and
burned down buildings. MONUC confirmed the attacks and both MONUC
and the Congolese military reportedly began deploying in the area.
Public demonstrations in Dungu have put pressure on the Government
of DRC to take action against the LRA. During the same time period,
approximately 100 LRA attacked a Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army
(SPLA) base at Sakure, southern Sudan, killing one soldier and
mutilating four children. Uganda military forces are on alert to
protect the Ugandan border, according to UPDF Spokesman Major Paddy
Ankunda.

- - - - -
COMMENT
- - - - -

7. (SBU) Kony's actions continue to demonstrate that he is not
interested in a peaceful resolution to the northern Ugandan
conflict. His failure to sign the FPA and attacks on Congolese
villages contradict the terms set by the Congolese Government for
the LRA to remain in Garamba National Park during negotiations,
which included an understanding that the LRA would not disturb local
populations. Ugandan officials hope that recent LRA activities will
convince Sudan and DRC to take joint action against the LRA.

HOOVER

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