By James Gatdet Dak
December 15, 2008 (JUBA) – The Government of Southern Sudan’s Vice President and Chief Mediator of the Uganda peace process, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, confirmed on Monday that military offensive against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was under way inside DR Congo.
- LRA Joseph Kony is shaking hand with southern Sudan’s vice president Riek Machar. (Reuters).
A regional joint force carried out a surprise attack on LRA positions in eastern DR Congo on Sunday.
Machar said as mediators they were aware of the offensive shortly before it was announced in Kampala by the Ugandan government.
He blamed the LRA leader Joseph Kony for not signing the peace deal.
“We understand the frustration involved because Kony has failed to sign [the final peace agreement] five times,” he explained.
He further explained that Kony failed his arrangement to sign twice, former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano’s once, northern Ugandan leaders’ once and lastly failed to talk to President Museveni on the phone despite Museveni’s offer to dialogue with him directly.
Machar added that his government has closed its borders and would not allow the renewed fighting with the rebels to over spill into Southern Sudan again.
He however said the Government of Southern Sudan has made an important decision that incase Joseph Kony reconsiders to sign, Rikwangba in Southern Sudan remains open as assembly area for the rebels.
He said he considered the military offensive as a pressure on Kony to sign.