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‘Kony’s ghost’ rears ugly head in S. Sudan war

Analysis

‘Kony’s ghost’ rears ugly head in S. Sudan war

LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony could utilize fighting in South Sudan to re-enter Uganda

Political and security circles hold the fear that the dreaded Joseph Kony might exploit the ongoing war in  South Sudan to resume senseless killings, maiming, looting and burning villages.

With the international terrorist tag weighing down on his shoulders, supporters of this view would argue, Kony’s renewed fighting and atrocities would attract world intervention dealing the man a devastating blow.

So they argue, the best Kony can do is to hide in the Central African Republic and wait for his death in silence other than taking to another self-destructing war.

The contrary school of thought, however, points to Kony’s elusive nature that has seen the well armed and trained UPDF and America’s special force from nabbing him, as evidence that the man is simply buying time and waiting for an opportune moment such as the unfolding war in South Sudan, to return to the war.

They say Kony loves to operate in chaotic and near stateless situations. Kony had made Sudan his hideout for many years till the hitherto SPLA and Khartoum reconciled giving way to the birth of what came to be known as Southern Sudan.

And now with the world’s youngest nation threatening to degenerate into a lawless state, commentators and security circles contend, Kony must be hoping against hope that the war persists because he can easily slid back into his former hide-out and wreck havoc.

Needless to state is that the Ugandan security is watching the on-going state of affairs keenly. Already, Uganda has dispatched soldiers to the war ravaged country to restore peace and happens pretty fast.

President Museveni has also sent a strong warning to Dr Riek Machar, the alleged leader of his Nuer tribe rebels to talk peace or face the joint firing power from the IGAD State members.

Though, Machar, formerly President Salva Kiir’s number two, has expressed and sent his delegation to the peace talks in Addis Ababa, his rebels continue to press on with the war and are reported to be within touching distance of Juba, the seat of the SPLA government.

“We are of course not sleeping. Kony is no doubt at his weakest point ever, after he incurred a lot of both human, military hardware and territory losses from our gallant UPDF forces,  but this does not mean that we are sitting on our laurels,”  UPDF’s Spokesperson Capt Paddy Ankunda told us.

What this means is that UPDF is fully alert, knowing that if South Sudan degenerates into a chaotic state, Kony may try to return to Uganda and resume his activities of genocide which was forced to export in 2007 by the UPDF.

UN Secretary General Ban Kin Moon is also on record as telling Uganda to take particular interest in the obtaining affairs in Southern Sudan, warning that if destabilized, South Sudan would bring bad news for the country in particular and the entire region in general.

In fact, soonest the war broke out, both Ban Kin Moon and US President Barack Obama dialed Museveni asking him to intervene and end the war to save SS and it neighbors (emphasis on Uganda) from suffering the spills of the war.

Because Machar views Museveni as leaning more to his nemesis Kiir, more so after ordering the former Vice President to quickly get to the round table, there are fears that Machar can retaliate by offering support and in fact giving sanctuary to Kony’s rebels in territories that Machar has captured and is about to capture.

Though he has not said it openly at any one time, Sudan’s Gen Omar Bashir has arguably never forgiven his Ugandan counterpart Museveni for giving support to the SPLA rebels, whose war ended up dividing the two countries into two independent states, denying the Arab dominated north oil wealth that went with Southern Sudan.

Though Bashir has appeared at Addis Ababa peace talks as one of the advocates of peace in the on-going Machar-Kiir confrontation, political pundits dismiss Bashir’s involvement as mere window shopping geared at painting the general whiter than he is actually.

Because old habits die hard, pessimists would even argue that Bashir, who is Museveni’s former protagonist, cannot forgive the latter overnight, remembering that the former still has old scores–in lost oil wealth, lost territory among others, to settle with Museveni.

As such, pessimists would argue, Bashir would be more than willing to renew his support to Kony– in case the human butcher ended up in the chaotic Southern Sudan, to get back at Museveni for the real and perceived help to the former SPLA rebels.

Drawing from Kony’s past chilling atrocities that saw hundreds killed and millions living in displaced villages as well as decades lost in senseless wars, many Ugandans and the peace lovers around the world would pray that the war in South Sudan  came to an end yesterday.

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