Wikileaks on LRA and Riek Machar

Posted: September 5, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in History, Wikileaks Cables

S E C R E T KHARTOUM 000713 SIPDIS SIPDIS DEPT FOR L, S/CT, IO, AF/RSA E.O. 12958: 
DECL: 03/20/2016 TAGS: PREL PTER MARR MOPS PINS PGOV PINR SU UN 

SUBJECT: SPLA CHIEF OF STAFF SAYS GOSS OFFICIALS KNOW WHERE KONY IS AND ARE NEGOTIATING  Classified By: P/E Chief Eric Whitaker for reasons: Section 1.4 (b) and (d)  

1. (S) Summary: During a meeting between Consul General (CG) Juba and SPLA Chief of Staff Oyai Deng on 
March 18, Deng said that the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) is in direct contact with Lord's Resistance
 Army (LRA) chief Joseph Kony. He said that GoSS Vice President Riek Machar is negotiating with Kony, 
and that Kony is currently in a camp "a few miles" off the road between Maridi and Lafon. End Summary. 

2. (S) When CG asked if rumors of SPLA operations against the LRA around Maridi and Yei were true,
 Deng replied that the SPLA in fact was engaged in more friendly contacts. GoSS Vice President Riek Machar 
had contacted Kony, who had agreed to talks. Deng deflected questions about what was on the table, noting 
only that "we want to find out what they want." He continued that the SPLA had in fact launched operations 
against LRA elements around Maridi and Yei in response to LRA attacks. Deng thought it was strange that
 the LRA continued to attack while engaged in friendly talks with the GoSS, and thought this might 
indicate a command and control issue in the LRA. He then said Kony was based a "few miles" off the 
road between Maridi and Lafon. Deng appeared reticent to offer more; CG did not press. 

3. (S) COMMENT: This conversation raises several troubling questions: If Riek Machar indeed knows Joseph
 Kony's location and is not assisting in his capture, does this make Machar complicit in continuing LRA
 atrocities? If so, does this make Machar indictable by the International Criminal Court? What are the 
legal ramifications for the GoSS if, as it appears, it refrains from pursuing Kony, so as to pursue a 
peace agreement with him?

End comment. STEINFELD

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