Here We Go Again

Will tomorrow finally be the day that ends 20 long years of war and terrorism in Northern Uganda? According to Reuters,

Uganda’s fugitive guerrilla Joseph Kony will meet mediators on Saturday on the Sudan-Congo border and may even sign a final peace deal, a rebel negotiator said on Wednesday.

But the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) still wants more details on how Uganda’s government plans to use traditional reconciliation rituals to help him avoid prosecution for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

But after spurning the peace process a month ago, ostensibly for very much the same reasons, Kony’s credibility — already at the level of an indicted mass murderer — is, to say the least, suspect. Moreover, it is unclear how the “peace vs. justice” stalemate has advanced in the last month: the Ugandan government — and even some of Kony’s victims — are willing to drop the ICC indictments in favor of means of traditional justice, but the ICC insists that Uganda is legally obliged to hand over Kony. Kony is calling for a “workshop” to address the issue, but it is unlikely that he will be appeased by anything less than getting the ICC out of the picture entirely.

In a new report, the ENOUGH project proposes the option of offering Kony exile — while using ICC indictment as a credible stick to end his nefarious influence in the region. ENOUGH is rightly skeptical of Kony’s intentions, and the report prioritizes restoring peace and security over securing a formal peace deal with Kony, which, in light of his past unreliability, seems a very sober strategy.