For Immediate Release
Contact: Julia Spiegel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 777-0132
(Washington, D.C.) October 29, 2007: Unless the peace talks in Juba, South Sudan, directly address LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony’s security concerns, peace will remain elusive in northern Uganda, according to an ENOUGH strategy paper released today.
“Dealing with Kony – who will likely kill any deal that trades his life of power and status within the rebel ranks for a trial or prison cell – must be the central issue as the negotiations move forward,” says report author and ENOUGH co-chair John Prendergast.
Ongoing talks have been on hold for the last three months to allow the Ugandan government and the LRA to consult and prepare for the next issue on the agenda: domestic justice mechanisms.
Peace with justice for Kony and his top deputies – all indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity – would be the ideal, but serious obstacles remain, the paper explains.
The ENOUGH Project outlines three options from which Kony should be pressed to choose, presented in conjunction with credible consequences for failing to take advantage of this opportunity:
Accountability: If Kony decides to return to northern Uganda, he must face serious domestic justice mechanisms that meet international standards and local needs, such as prosecution in a special tribunal;
Asylum: In the interests of peace and to allow northern Uganda to finally awake from the twenty year nightmare of LRA terror, an exile scenario that relocates Kony to another country may be the best solution; or
Arrest: A coordinated regional strategy to apprehend Kony should the peace talks collapse is necessary both as contingency planning and as negotiating leverage.
Leadership from both the U.S. and the European Union (EU) is needed, the report states, particularly if a UN Security Council local accountability package falls short of the ICC’s standards or if asylum becomes necessary. Both the U.S. and the EU could also provide useful intelligence and logistical support for attempts to arrest Kony if necessary, and sustained U.S. involvement could introduce the requisite assurances for both the Ugandan government and Kony to credibly move the peace process forward.
“Unless countries with leverage become more directly engaged, Kony will see little reason to make the kind of compromises and sacrifices necessary for a deal,” says Prendergast.
To read “What To Do About Joseph Kony,” go to www.enoughproject.org.
The ENOUGH Project is an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity.