Cablegate: Northern Uganda: Kony to Meet Delegation August 20

DE RUEHKM #1129 2271125
R 141125Z AUG 08



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) Summary: Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) delegation
leader Dr. David Matsanga claims that Joseph Kony is
committed to meeting with his delegation on August 20/21.
Matsanga reportedly told Kony that he needed to show up in
order to put the onus on the Government of Uganda to provide
answers to his questions about how the International Criminal
Court warrants would be suspended. Donor-funded food is set
to be delivered to the Rikwangba assembly area on August 19.
U.N. Special Envoy for LRA-Affected Areas Joachim Chissano
will be in Kampala, Nairobi, and Juba from August 14 to 20
and may attend the meeting if the date holds from August 20
or 21. There is continued confusion among former and current
LRA delegation members over who Kony wants at the meeting.
We remain skeptical that Kony will show up. End Summary.

2. (SBU) LRA delegation leader Dr. David Matsanga maintains
that Joseph Kony is committed to the meeting with his
delegation on August 20/21. (retels). Matsanga told P/E Chief
on August 12 that Kony wanted answers to questions about the
timeline and steps the Government of Uganda (GOU) would take
to get the International Criminal Court warrants suspended.
Matsanga claims that he persuaded Kony to show up at
Rikwangba because Kony could then "put the ball back in the
GOU's court." Matsanga said he told Kony that currently, the
international community and northern Ugandans viewed him
(Kony) as holding up the peace process. Matsanga reportedly
told Kony that the mediator, southern Sudan's Vice President
Riek Machar and the facilitator, U.N. Special Envoy for
LRA-Affected Areas Joachim Chissano, were essential for the
process to suspend the warrants. According to Matsanga, if
Kony discusses the agreement with his delegation in the
presence of the mediator and facilitator, it would
demonstrate Kony's commitment to the process and put pressure
on the GOU to implement its obligations under the agreement.
Matsanga expressed his concern that there was no Luo version
of the Final Peace Agreement and that Machar turned down his
request for 20,000 USD for translation.

3. (SBU) Kony is purportedly also in contact with the former
members of the LRA delegation, including Santa Okot. Okot
told P/E Chief on August 13 that Kony expects a number of
former LRA delegates to explain the agreement to him. Kony
reportedly informed Okot that he opposed any additional donor
funding to Machar's peace secretariat in Juba. Okot relayed
this information to donors in Kampala. Matsanga claimed that
Okot and other former delegation members would not be welcome
at Rikwangba.

4. (SBU) Chissano will arrive in Kampala on August 14 and
travel in the region through August 20. He will travel to
Nairobi to meet with Matsanga on August 16 or 17. Chissano
will attend Kony's meeting with his delegation if it starts
on or near the dates of August 20 or 21. If the meeting gets
pushed back or Kony's presence becomes doubtful, Chissano
will return to Mozambique. The donor-funded food delivery
through CARITAS to Rikwangba is scheduled for August 19,
barring any unexpected delays, according to Warner Tan Kate,
the director of Chissano's office in Kampala.

5. (SBU) Comment: Preparations continue to move forward,
but we remain skeptical that the event will hold largely
because Kony's actions indicate that the idea of having a
meeting with his delegation is a time-buying tactic. The
food delivery will be made before the meeting so Kony may
make excuses after his porters cart off the donated items.
Matsanga did not indicate that the lack of a Luo translation
was a show-stopper, but we sense that it could be another
justification for further delays in the future. Publicly,
GOU officials, who are not invited, have adopted a
wait-and-see-if-Kony-shows approach to the meeting. Matsanga
(a non-Acholi) is the titular leader of the LRA delegation,
but Kony continues to talk to fellow Acholi, Santa Okot,
because he (Kony) would need Acholi support in order to
return to his home in northern Uganda. U.N. officials remain
concerned that Kony has not given any names of individual
participants on the LRA side.

© Scoop Media

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