UN Envoy and UK Bless 3 Nations' Attack on LRA, All
Bets Off With Kony
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 17 -- The Lord's
Resistance Army, after years of looting and kidnapping children, is now
to military action by the governments of Uganda, the Democratic
Republic of the
Congo and South Sudan. Emerging from the UN Security Council chamber on
Wednesday afternoon, UK Ambassador John Sawers named only two countries
of the action, DRC and Uganda. Inner City Press asked him, isn't South
involved? Ambassador Sawers said, "I'm not sure. Uganda has been
cooperating the the DRC, I'm not sure of the involvement of South
from Minute 2:11.
Sawers had just emerged from a briefing by Joaquim Chissano, the UN's
the LRA-Affected Areas. Minutes later, Inner City Press asked Chissano
had included South Sudan's involvement in his briefing to Council
South Sudan is involved militarily, Chissano confirmed. So why did Amb.
also differed on the involvement of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in DRC,
Sawers, when Inner City Press asked if MONUC is involved, said that
its hands full. Video here.
Chissano, on the other hand, said that MONUC supports the DRC
Chissano at the stakeout, attack on LRA by 3
nations with MONUC support not shown
the week, Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Michele Montas
Inner City Pres: There are these
reports that the governments of three countries have bombed the Lord’s
Resistance Army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including
Sudan. Can you, what’s the UN’s
understanding of which countries have participated in this bombing? Have complaints been lodged with Mr.
Chissano, and what was the UN’s involvement in deciding to try to
conflict in this way?
Spokesperson Montas: MONUC,
as far as the contacts we had with
them this morning, has not been involved in the planning and
these joint operations. The Mission has
been supporting, however, the FARDC with logistics, such as transport,
and food, for the containment operation which the FARDC was conducting
this new operation by the regional forces.
And MONUC has also helped consolidate and widen the
airfield at Dungu,
which serves as operational bridgehead for the FARDC and Ugandan troops. That’s really all I can say at this point.
appears that killing Kony and at least his adult supporters is one goal
least possible outcomes of the action, Amb. Sawers' statement that the
is "well judged" seems to some to verge on a ratification of
extra-judicial killing. Chissano explains the action as an attempt to
Kony back to Uganda. Meanwhile he says that to lure Kony to Uganda, the
International Criminal Court action against him might be suspended, at
request of Uganda. A
reporter asked why Chissano was speaking of such
suspension, given the charges against Kony.
It was not discussed in the Council, Chissano said.
But we are
discussing it out here, the reporter insisted. Chissano's handler led
It is hard
to see Chissano playing any mediation or go-between role in this
anymore. Tellingly, he said the the anticipated extension of his
be for work with the three governments.
News analysis: the LRA are war
criminals. But what about the accusations against Uganda's army? The
ICC has let them off the hook, and now Chissano, it appears, works with
and for them. Previously, UNDP channeled funding to the Ugandan Army to
do forcible disarmament of pastoralists in Karamoja. What did the UK do
about that? The UN's -- and the UK's -- record in Uganda is not pretty.
if the UN's theory is that even the Devil must
have someone to speak with or through, the question on the LRA is,
was other UK-U.S. intrigue, it
emerges, in Tuesday's Somalia meetings. In a closed-door session of the
Group on Somalia, a participant tells Inner City Press that the U.S.
of State Condoleezza Rice "got into it" with the UK's Deputy
Permanent Representative Karen Pierce. We'll opine in this footnote
like Ms. Pierce's spunk, if not the UK Mission's sometimes opaque
exclusivity. But the tiff was continued up into the Security
Council chamber between Ms. Rice and her British counterpart David
The Secretary General was unclear why things were being delayed, and
into his prepared testimony. Only at the UN...
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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