East Africa

Joseph Kony seriusly sick and in talks to surrender

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United Nations – Notorious warlord Joseph Kony tried to negotiate food and a safe haven with the president of Central African Republic even as an African force hunted him, a UN envoy told AFP on Wednesday.

Amid indications that the Lord's Resistance Army leader is seriously ill, UN special envoy Abou Moussa and an African Union counterpart called for heightened pressure on Kony.

Moussa said in an interview that Central African Republic president Michel Djotodia had told him this month he sent food to Kony.

"When we met President Djotodia he told us that he is in contact with him (Kony)," said Moussa, UN envoy for the Central African region where Kony's rebels are accused of killing 100,000 people in a two-decade reign of terror.

"He told us that he had provided him with 20 bags of food, with manioc, cassava.

"He added that Kony had called him, that Kony has asked for these items." Kony was also reported to have asked for the creation of a safe zone for him and his fighters in Central African Republic.

Moussa said Kony's whereabouts was not known but Djotodia believed the LRA chief was in Central African Republic, which is confronted by its own murderous chaos after a rebel takeover in March.

Moussa said he had warned the transitional president against providing food unless it was part of a deal involving a surrender.

"If he wants to surrender, he wants food, they should come out of the bush," the envoy said.

Moussa quoted Djotodia as saying that once Kony has given up, he would be handed over to the United Nations.

Kony, who launched a rebellion in his native Uganda two decades ago, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, enslavement, sexual slavery and recruiting child soldiers.

 

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