'Kony still has a chance'

2009-03-10 19:16

Kampala - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Monday the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel leader Joseph Kony could still be granted amnesty if he ends the warfare.

"Kony still has a chance to take advantage of the amnesty if he stops fighting," Museveni said in a statement.

In 2006, Museveni pledged total amnesty to the elusive rebel leader if peace talks between the government and the insurgents that were hosted in southern Sudan succeeded.

However, Kony has refused to sign a final peace deal with Kampala, prompting states in the region to launch a military drive against him and his fighters in December.

Kony cited outstanding International Criminal Court arrest warrants for war crimes as reasons for not signing the peace agreement.

Museveni said the joint military operation by the armies of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and south Sudan was to compel Kony to end his fight.

"The killing of Kony's commanders and the recent arrest of Kony's number four should teach Kony that he cannot win the war and his only alternative is to opt for peace," he said.

Kony's rebels are accused of having raped and mutilated civilians, forcibly enlisting child soldiers and of massacring thousands during two decades of conflict.