Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Peace: France wants LRA out

The French government will not support further dialogue between the LRA and the Ugandan Government and is ready to support a military offensive against the rebels.

The pronouncement comes after a Bill, calling on US President Barack Obama to support Uganda fight the LRA, was presented in the US Senate last month.


The Bill, if passed, could lead to the launch of a second joint military offensive against the LRA. It also follows the collapse of the Juba talks last year, when LRA leader Joseph Kony failed to turn up for the signing of the final peace agreement.


“The solution to the LRA is to eradicate it. We do not believe any longer in negotiations. There have been attempts in that direction but it has not been supported by LRA leader Joseph Kony,” a senior government official communicated France’s position.


A number of French government officials, including St├ęphane Gompertz, the director for Africa at the French foreign ministry, addressed a group of six African journalists who are attending a seminar in Paris on peace and security processes in the Great Lakes region.


The officials called the LRA a criminal group that kidnaps, kills, rapes and abducts. “The LRA is headed by a dangerous person who is completely paranoid and insane. What can we do in such a case? We are trying to locate Kony but it has not been an easy task.”


They called for the launch of a new joint offensive, in which intelligence information should be shared. During such military operation, the abducted children within the LRA ranks must be spared, they said.


France through the EU has been a major financier of the Juba peace talks. Paris withdrew its support, however, after seeing no prospect of reaching an agreement with Kony.

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