Kony Speaks

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Kony Speaks

Sam Farmar of the London Times managed to track down the infamous, and infamously enigmatic, Joseph Kony of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army.

For twenty years, Kony and his (predominantly kidnapped) minions have terrorized the Acholi people of northern Uganda, savagely killing and disfiguring thousands for no apparent reason.

Last year, Kony and a few others were indicted by the International Criminal Court for their twenty years of brutality, and earlier this year he began making ovetures to the Ugandan government, via Sudan, seeking peace talks.

Uganda has, understandably, been skeptical but the leaders of southern Sudan (the former SPLM rebels who took power via the nascent peace accord) have been eager to meet with Kony and his LRA

[The government in Khartoum backed the LRA for years in retribution for Uganda's support of the SPLM and allowed the LRA to operate out of southern Sudan, though most of the rebels have now fled to the Congo.]

Anyway, the article on Farmar's meeting with Kony is pretty interesting, but I was struck by this passage
Finally Riek Machar, the vice-president of southern Sudan, arrived. Mr Machar is a former warlord with a degree from Bradford University. Over the previous two months he had provided the LRA with $20,000 (£11,000) and ten lorryloads of food. “A hungry man can not talk peace,” he explained.
Far be it from me to tell Machar how to handle the LRA (though I would not have wept had he arrested Kony and handed him over to the ICC - or even shot him on the spot) but I fail to see how providing food and money to Kony gives him any incentive to talk peace.

It seems to me that a hungry man can talk peace - in fact, I'd assume a hungry man would be eager to talk peace.

A well-fed man, probably not so much.

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