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Museveni prolonged Kony insurgency, says Besigye

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DP leader Norbert Mao, former FDC president Kizza Besigye and UPC party leader Olara Otunnu chat at the launch of electoral reforms campaign in Gulu Town recently. PHOTO BY Martin Odongo 

By Martin Odong & Cissy Makumbi

Posted  Saturday, April 12   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Delayed talks. The former FDC boss said UPDF frustrated earlier attempts to stop the war because they would attack the rebels yet they had already assured them of speaking peace.

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Gulu.
Former FDC party president Kizza Besigye has said the insurgency in northern Uganda took long to end because President Museveni delayed the peace process.
Dr Besigye made the remarks this week in Gulu Town where opposition leaders were campaigning for electoral reforms ahead of the 2016 general elections.
He said attempts were made to end the insurgency peacefully, but were frustrated by President Museveni and the UPDF.
“Earlier attempts to stop the war were affected by the government soldiers (UPDF) who would instead attack the rebels yet they had already assured them of speaking peace,” Dr Besigye said.

He said Mr Museveni is now surrounded with new converts who keep urging him to stand for presidency even when people are yearning for change.
“Every election people are hoping for change but it’s not coming their way. There is need to have a joint effort to remove the roadblock to change,” Dr Besigye said.

President Museveni’s adviser on Acholi region, Ms Santa Oketta, dismissed Dr Besigye’s allegations as a prank to regain political support in the region where the opposition has lost popularity.
Ms Oketta said Dr Besigye cannot run way from the liability because he was part of UPDF at the time of the insurgency.

“He was a commander here and he blames Mr Museveni. Part of the blame is on him too,” Ms Oketta said.In her recent visit to Central African Republic, Water minister Betty Bigombe, who initiated the first peace talks with the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in 1993, described their leader Joseph Kony as a mad man.
“As we were busy negotiating to bring war to an end, Kony was instead recruiting children who were later used as child soldiers and porters,” Ms Bigombe said.

There were three attempts for peace talks to end the northern insurgency that claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced more about 1.5 million people.

Chronology of events
2004. Ms Betty Bigombe attempted another peace meeting with Kony but it failed.
2007. Kony declined to sign the peace agreement with the government.
2008. The UPDF launched a military offensive - Operation Lightning Thunder against the LRA who relocated to eastern DR Congo and later to Central African Republic.

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