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Riek Machar Policies on Uganda Rebel a Flop

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Riek Machar Policies on Uganda Rebel a Flop

Steve Paterno


There was a moment, following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the brutal Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) were flushed-off their bases in South Sudan—flushed on the verge of extinction, where they fled to live—with and like animals—at Garamba National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Ironically, the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) intervened to the rescue of the rebels by proposing a three-option policy as a way out for the rebels. The three-option policy outlines that (a) the LRA should settle for a peaceful negotiation with the government of the Uganda; (b) in case they fail to settle for a peaceful negotiation, they must be asked to leave South Sudan territory; (c) and in case they fail to leave South Sudan territory, then they must be forced militarily. 


The three-option policy, therefore, marked the start of the illusive Juba Peace Talks, a supposedly peaceful negotiation between the government of Uganda and the LRA, mediated by GOSS Vice President Riek Machar. The two years of the peace talks and its entire process ended up in a total failure. The LRA continued with its brand of brutality on the civil population in region and rejected any concluded peace deal at the end. The Ugandan government in its part declared that with or without peace, the LRA is finished as they are beyond reach of Uganda territory. At the meantime, Riek Machar, the self-exalting mediator, is endowed with all the confusions.  He is yet to acknowledge that it is for his self-ego to mediate the illusive peace talks.


Riek Machar recent tactics of self-redemptions adds to his resume of failures. Machar was mediating a peace talks with LRA delegations who were in no way had contacts with Joseph Kony, the chief of LRA. Matter of fact, the so-called LRA delegations had more contacts with Uganda government than with Kony. Kony has even accused some of those delegations to have “harbored anti-LRA and pro-Uganda Government sentiments” and that some of whom “had been bribed and compromised.” Among his evidence, he cited a secret meeting which took place in Mombassa (Kenya) between some clique in LRA delegation and officials from government of Uganda. For absurd reasons only known to Machar, he still believes that he reached Final Peace Agreement between the LRA and the government of Uganda.

After convincing himself, Machar then desperately sought the signature of Kony to be appended in what he calls Final Peace Agreement. This desperate attempt is as flaw as the reasons behind it. Machar tirelessly treks the jungles, looking for Kony, but could only run into, antelopes and their kinds, without any signs of Kony. Kony is no idiot compare to Machar. According to Kony’s advisors, this bizarre move of tracking Kony by trekking into the jungles for the sake of appending a signature leaves them to wonder, “why would two adversaries who have agreed to make peace not meet face to face, shake hands, sign the agreement and exchange copies of it as a demonstration of genuine commitment to peace?” According to Kony, “any peace agreement between the LRA and the Uganda Government should be signed in Uganda, not in a foreign land,” or in some other foreign jungles. Kony who is more security conscious, is now said to be very agitated and suspicious of Machar, the self appointed mediator. The world all know how Kony deal away with people he is agitated and suspicious of. So next time if Machar never returns from his treks in the jungles, the world should not be surprised.

As if trekking the jungles illusively in search of a signature on paper is not enough humiliating defeat, Machar turned into media for face-lifting. To accomplish the media’s task, Machar employed a group of poorly choreographed individuals from his ethnic tribe of Nuer—a group led by James Gatdet Dak who liked to be known by a non-existed title, “a former Juba Radio anchorman.” This group do more damage to Machar reputations than anyone would have wished. Every time they attempt to say something about Machar, they never fail in exposing his poor judgment and qualities.

Machar recent blunders in trying to expel from South Sudan the Uganda People Defense Force (UPDF) in support of LRA, has even exposed him more into ferocity of media attacks from the entire region, especially Ugandan media. In its editorial, the Ugandan New Vision accuses, Machar of “souring relations” between South Sudan and Uganda. The paper goes on to dismiss Machar as a commander who can be remembered, “at one point, sided with the enemy, armed the LRA and planned the bombing and killing of his own people.” This echoes exactly the sentiment of South Sudanese toward Machar, a person with a treacherous past.

In another blow to Machar, a headline news reads, “Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) disowns Machar’s statements.” This is due to the fact that several of SPLA high ranking officials are quoted as distancing themselves from Machar’s blunders. One of the SPLA officers, Maj. Gen Ayuen Alier, said, “I want to assure you that there is no serious problem between the UPDF and the SPLA.” Proving Machar wrong on having to lie that President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, instructed SPLA Chief of Staff, Deng Oyai, to kick the UPDF out of South Sudan, Oyai responded, “I was not instructed by President Salva Kiir and I did not write such letter. No official communication was sent.”

Now it is David Nyekorach-Matsanga, the controversial leader of LRA negotiating team who is adding more confusion into this LRA saga. He set another new dateline for signing Final Peace Agreement. For these people, one doesn’t take datelines serious. For them, datelines fluctuate. From his comfort in Nairobi, Nyekorach declared, “LRA this time around is determined to prove its critics wrong by signing the Peace Agreement.” This is not the first time he made such declaration. The last time he did it was when he fooled Riek Machar and other foreign dignitaries to be stranded in the jungles, looking for Kony. Matter of fact, at the time, Nyekorach, the head of the LRA delegation had no direct contact with Kony and yet he lied that Kony agreed to sign the final peace deal. He is said to be lucky to escape alive, because LRA were about to snatch him away from the remote outpost designated for peace signing ceremony. The LRA accused him of having received bribes from government of Uganda. This time around, he is accused of writing a letter to the President of Uganda, Yuweri Museveni, requesting that Kony should be assassinated. The failures of the Juba Peace Talks, especially the failures of the dubious characters involved, are exposed. For someone like Riek Machar, he rather quit or do something better, the less of which is “spreading lies and souring relations.” As for the infamous controversial Nyekorach, one will hope he escape again the wrath of brutal LRA, so that he will have a chance to redeem himself.


Written by torit1955

July 11, 2008 at 7:24 pm

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