Now For Some Good News

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Now For Some Good News

Given the disasterously deteriorating situation in Darfur, it is nice to see that another, equally brutal confilct in the region might, just might, be coming to an end.

Last week, the Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army agreed to a ceasefire and LRA soldiers are leaving the bush and assembling at camps as part of effort to reach a comprehensive peace.

The direct talks between Uganda and the LRA are due to resume soon, but it looks as if the LRA is none-too-happy with one of the government's bargaining tactics
Uganda's rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) on Tuesday decried a government move to bring mutilated war victims to peace talks in southern Sudan, suggesting it is a propaganda stunt.

LRA spokesperson Obonyo Olweny said there is no point in having disfigured people -- some of whom have had their lips, ears and noses cut off, allegedly by the rebels -- at the peace talks in the southern Sudanese capital of Juba.

"We don't understand why they would bring these mutilated people here," he told Agence France-Presse by phone from Juba, where the negotiations are to resume later this week. "For what purpose? Why do they bring such people? Who did this to them? We don't know," Olweny said.
Ummm ... everyone knows who did this to them.

It was the LRA
Two men were tied and forced onto the ground where their heads were joined together. The rebels tried to force me to pick up a log and hit their heads but I refused so one came for me with a knife and cut off my left ear. He accused me of being a government soldier and said that I would be finished off if I failed to smash their heads.

But then, they started smashing the people's heads themselves. I was put in the middle as they smashed the people's heads.


They kept on beating us and they denied food or water from us. We complained saying we were hungry and thirsty. They stopped raping the women that were in our group and acted as though they were going to let us eat and drink. The ladies were forced to boil water in a big tin.

Shortly after this they announced that we would eat the government soldier - supposedly, me.

For a long time, the rebels took turns at beating us men with hot metal, and raping the girls.

I was already spiritually dead.

They returned to me at some point and re-tied me before chopping off my lips. They then cut off my right ear and my nose.
There has been a lot of talk about relying on ancient reconciliation rituals rather than the International Criminal Court to hold Kony and his ilk accountable for their crimes, but mato oput isn't going to solve anything if the LRA refuses to admit its guilt.

[Side Note: Sadly, this story of mutliation is actually less depressing than the complete f***ing mess in Darfur at the moment. If people are interested in what is going on there, check out the CFD. Or maybe, if people really want to know, I'll write up a post and try to explain just what has happened recently.]

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