Joseph Kony, one of the most wanted men in the world is ready to surrender to the government of Central African Republic. Kony is the man behind the very infamous Lord’s Resistance Army. He is one of the most wanted men on earth with the Unites States government placing a reward of up to 5 million dollars on him for any information that leads to his arrest. He came into worldwide prominence in 2012 when a group called Invisible Children released a viral video that was viewed by millions of people around the world.
The Lord’s Resistance Army is a militant army that operated mainly in what is now South Sudan and Uganda. They have been accused by various human rights organisations of abuse and crimes against humanity. The accusations range from rape to murder and mutilations and also kidnapping male children to be used as soldiers and female ones as sex slaves. They have also been accused of many other heinous crimes. They claim they want Uganda to be run based on the Ten Commandments from the Bible.
Kony being the ring leader of this very infamous sect has been charged with war crimes by the ICC (International Criminal Court). He was involved in a brutal battle with the Ugandan government for about 20 years. He then ran away from the country in 2005 and he’s believed to have sought refuge somewhere in the bushes of the Central African Republic.
However, despite Joseph Kony seemingly ready to surrender, he has been accused in the past of using the negotiations as a ploy to buy time so he can take off some pressure off him whenever the pressure is seen to be mounting from the government. “Heightened pressure forced the LRA to try his time-tested tricks of buying time by duping the CAR authorities into “negotiations” to purportedly allow Kony and his LRA to “surrender” and re-settle in Nzako, CAR,” the African Union’s special envoy on the LRA, Francisco Madeira said. His surrender might also be connected to the fact that he is said to be suffering from a serious illness. “Many reports indicate that he is suffering from some serious illness, uncharacterised illness” Madeira said.
News of Kony’s surrender, if true and genuine this time around, would be seen by many as a case of medicine after death. So many lives have been cut short. Many limbs have been maimed and a lot of women stripped off their dignity by Kony. Whether him surrendering goes in any way to calm down those whose lives have been turned upside down will remain to be seen. Madeira says the interim president of the CAR has been in touch to say Kony has been in touch for discussions about a possible surrender.
The curtains can finally be drawn on a very painful chapter in the history of the Central Africa as a region with the surrender of Joseph Kony. Many would hope he is brought into custody and hopefully to book for the horrible crimes he committed.
By Olajide Jatto