Congo Watch: Matsanga's never represented the LRA - Who are the merchants of conflicts in Uganda based in London?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Matsanga's never represented the LRA - Who are the merchants of conflicts in Uganda based in London?

According to the following article by Peter Eichstaedt 16 January 2009, David Matsanga, the self-proclaimed spokesman for the LRA, does not represent the LRA and never has. A new rebel group may be emerging in Northern Uganda called the Uganda People's Liberation Front/Army, an Acholi cabal based in London headed by a man named Ladit Balgara.

LRA in disarray, again
By Peter Eichstaed
16 January 2009
My friend and fellow reporter, Henry Mukasa of the New Vision newspaper in Kampala, this week contacted the former spokesman for Lord's Resistance Army's former negotiating team.

The former spokesman, Obonyo Olweny, says that the self-proclaimed spokesman and chief negotiator for the LRA, David Matsanga, does not represent the LRA and never has.

By so doing, Olweny has shed light on the truly chaotic situation behind the scenes of the LRA, which has been under attack by the Ugandan army since December 14, and at this point appears to be scrambling for its life.

First, a new rebel group may be emerging in northern Uganda called the Uganda People's Liberation Front/Army.

Who are these people and what do they want? Matsanga again lifted the lid on this dustbin, and says they're an Acholi cabal based in London and headed by a man named Ladit Balgara.

If the Acholi diaspora are forming a new rebel group, does this mean they've written off LRA leader Joseph Kony, the self-proclaimed prophet and spirit medium meant to lead the Acholi?

Could Uganda President Yoweri Museveni be on the verge of victory at last?

These issues will be dealt with in future dispatches.

Olweny is a former English teacher and currently a resident of Nairobi, I believe, and Henry and I spent a lot of time with him in July 2006 when the peace talks were beginning between the LRA and Uganda in Juba, South Sudan.

After Olweny and the leaders of the former negotiators, Martin Ojul, in particular, were supposedly fired by Kony in early 2008 -- in a surprise announcement made by Matsanga, not Kony -- Olweny dropped out of sight, only to re-emerge this week.

(Ojul, by the way, now lives in Kampala on a Ugandan government salary.)

The Olweny-Matsanga dispute has opened the door to one reality of the LRA: Kony largely keeps his own council.

According to sources at the late November meeting between Kony and the Acholi religious and cultural leaders, Kony knew nothing about the peace agreement that has been negotiated for two and a half years. When his fellow Acholi tried to explain it to him, including the Catholic archbishop from Gulu, Kony became angry and called them traitors.

“Kony never saw the text of the agreement until the day of signing. Is that normal?” Olweny told New Vision. Now, to be fair, Olweny here may be confirming earlier reports, but could also be simply repeating them.

But what he also said is more interesting:

“Since the attack on LRA bases in the DRC, I don’t think he (Matsanga) has talked to Kony. Kony is under pressure. He hardly talks to anyone,” Olweny said.

“Kony sees Matsanga as responsible for the attack. He misled him,” he added.

This is an amazing charge, but probably true. If true, then Matsanga should be looking over his shoulder. Yet, Matsanga continues to speak for the LRA.

As I've said before, Matsanga is in this for the money. As previously noted, Matsanga was stopped in the airport in Juba this past April, just a couple of days after he has successfully duped the entire international community into believing Kony was prepared to sign a peace deal.

Matsanga had $20,000 in cash, his pay for three months work as the LRA negotiation team leader. Matsanga then fled, and deputy, the Dr. James Obita, a western educated Acholi, took over.

Obita managed to pull yet another layer of wool over the world's eyes, and convinced everyone that Kony would sign the deal in May. Again Kony didn't show. Obita dropped out of sight. Obita then accepted amnesty from the government and reportedly is also collecting govenment money.

In the interim from May to about October, Matsanga saw an opening, and with no one openly disputing his claim, he re-emerged and convinced the world that Kony would sign a deal at the end of November.

Despite Olweny's remarks, Matsanga maintains that he is in contact with Kony, despite a statement said to be from the LRA "high command" this past weekend, that Matsanga was fired.

Matsanga explained it this way: “This group of former LRA delegates have teamed up with self-confessed paupers and senior militarists in Nairobi and London, namely Obonyo Olweny and Alex Oloya, under a new outfit called Uganda Peoples Liberation Front/Army (UPLF) headed by Ladit Balgara based in London to cause mayhem for the people of northern Uganda,” Matsanga said in an email sent to The New Vision.

“They issue unsigned statements using the LRA letterheads that Obonyo acquired during his spokesman tenure one year ago.”

“Those who have plotted against me have lost in the past and will lose on this round. They have been advised (by Kony) to desist from such malicious acts and work with me to bring peace in northern Uganda,” Matsanga said.

When asked to describe Matsanga's motivations, Olweny said, "He is the one asking for money in the name of LRA and the blood of the suffering people in the north. We began the peace process in Juba and he came from London begging to join the LRA delegation. You tell him he has failed to deliver the peace agreement he promised to his paymasters,” he added.

It is clear that Olweny is enjoying Matsanga's failures, because his "paymasters" are the UN, which has been funding the peace talks.

Asked whether it was true that he had joined a new rebel front (UPLF/A), Olweny said: “I think Matsanga is running out of his mind.”

That is not a denial, rather it's an attempt to disparage the messanger.

Matsanga blamed what he called “merchants of conflicts in Uganda based in London” for sowing discord in the LRA to derail the peace process.

Sowing discord in the LRA? That assumes there has been unity.
Who are the merchants of conflicts in Uganda based in London? Are they connected to Sudan?
- - -

UPDATE: Sunday 18 January 2009

From The New Vision, Uganda by Henry Mukasa 15 January 2009 -
LRA peace team in power row:

THE leader of the LRA peace delegation, David Nyekorach Matsanga, has refuted reports that he was sacked. Matsanga said yesterday he still maintained full contact with rebel chief, Joseph Kony.

He explained that the un-signed statement said to be from the LRA high command over the weekend, came from rival former LRA negotiators.

“This group of former LRA delegates have teamed up with self-confessed paupers and senior militarists in Nairobi and London, namely Obonyo Olweny and Alex Oloya, under a new outfit called Uganda Peoples Liberation Front/Army (UPLF) headed by Ladit Balgara based in London to cause mayhem for the people of northern Uganda,” Matsanga said in an email sent to The New Vision.

“They issue unsigned statements using the LRA letterheads that Obonyo acquired during his spokesman tenure one year ago.”

Matsanga claimed that his detractors converge in “tribal cocoons” and malign his work by asserting that he does not hail from the north. Matsanga hails from Bugisu in eastern Uganda.

He said Kony was aware of the “tribal chauvinism” and addressed it on November 28, 2008 at Rwi-Kwangba when he met religious and cultural leaders from the north.

“Those who have plotted against me have lost in the past and will lose on this round. They have been advised (by Kony) to desist from such malicious acts and work with me to bring peace in northern Uganda,” Matsanga said.

He also blamed what he called “merchants of conflicts in Uganda based in London” for sowing discord in the LRA to derail the peace process.
But Olweny denied fighting Matsanga and doubted Matsanga’s claims of direct contact with Kony.

“Since the attack on LRA bases in the DRC, I don’t think he has talked to Kony. Kony is under pressure. He hardly talks to anyone,” Olweny said.

“Kony sees Matsanga as responsible for the attack. He misled him,” he added.
Asked how, Olweny pointed at the many times delegates went to Ri-kwangba for the peace agreement signing ceremony, only to return empty-handed.

“Kony never saw the text of the agreement until the day of signing. Is that normal?” he asked.

Olweny said the Sudan Tribune, which published the article about Matsanga’s termination, should be contacted for its source of information other than using him as a scapegoat.

He also laughed off Matsanga’s description of him as a pauper.

“I am a published author. How can I be a pauper? He is the one asking for money in the name of LRA and the blood of the suffering people in the north,” Olweny charged.

“We began the peace process in Juba and he came from London begging to join the LRA delegation. You tell him he has failed to deliver the peace agreement he promised to his paymasters,” he added.

Asked whether it was true that he had joined a new rebel front (UPLF/A), Olweny said: “I think Matsanga is running out of his mind.”

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home