Contribution | Rewards for Justice

27 February 2013 | Okello Ronald

Ronald Okello is a student living in in Kampala, Uganda. He grew up in Northern Uganda.

He responded to questions raised in our recent blog about Rewards for Justice:

The Reward for Justice; a complicated strategy to apprehend Joseph Kony 

I truly understand how much the world has tried and put efforts together to bring the C.A.R and D.R.C at peace by ending the atrocities of the rebel groups; one of which is ”The Lord’s Resistance Army”, led by Joseph Kony.

We all want to see this tragic war come to an end. Most of the operations and offensives have failed to apprehendthe megalomaniac leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army because of insufficient resources and attention.

The U.S government has offered financial rewards for certain individuals who can provide information on the location of the L.R.A.

From past experiences, it is clear that the problem has been insufficient assets and techniques used in fighting JosephKony’s rebel group.

Much as financial rewards is an attempt in trying to get Kony with his commanders, it still leaves people asking questions. Let’s think about this:

  • What would communities affected by this war think of an L.R.A commander becoming a millionaire after defecting?
  • There is no amnesty in Uganda currently, are the rebels going to really defect yet they have the fear of being taken to court and losing all the money from the reward?
  • Is it right to combine justice with financial gain?

I have suffered this war first hand and I want to see it come to an end without compromising innocent lives and taking advantage of the war itself. If we have to do this, there should be no room for mistakes.

High hopes are that lower ranking officers will defect and provide information on the where abouts of Joseph Kony. We are talking about officers who have served the L.R.A for more than 15 years, most of them brain washed. They have believed in him because he treats them differently from the rest of his army. They have no goals but skills to murder and keep on the run from justice, since they are also told that the world is working tooth and nail with tricks to get a hold of them.

Secondly, the rebels know what Kony is capable of . In 2006, while the L.R.A engaged in sporadic peace negotiations in south Sudan, Kony killed his second in command[ Vincent Otti ] with fear that he would sign the peace agreements.

Like I said, most of the rebel groups have no ideology. Many of them believe in spirits and gods as part of inspiration and power in fighting these wars. Kony believes he is fighting a holy war. It sounds stupid but witnesses say he actually foretells events, and turns into weird creatures after performing his rituals. A man like Kony would not have sustained the L.R.A war for over 25 years if he wasn’t more than what we think of him. What we hear about him on press is partly true but mostly an anecdote.

I have always believed that Kony has so much support from different anonymous sources, in form of finance, assets, food supplies.

Joseph Kony (if he really exists) might not even be in the D.R.Congo. It should no longer be about him; so as we look for him, let’s focus on apprehending his commanders and bringing the children in captivity back home. Why can’t we begin with cutting off his supplies after his support base is identified.

The M23 rebels have finally signed a peace deal under the super vision of the United Nations. The U.N peace keepers might be going to the region of eastern D.R.Congo to monitor and keep peace. I don’t know if it is a strategy to shoot down two birds with one stone, but it would definitely have something to do with the L.R.A.

Should we say Joseph Kony is going to face justice soon?

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