News24

Mom's dying wish to rebel son

2009-11-12 10:18

Kampala - The mother of one of Africa's most notorious rebel leaders relayed one last wish for her son before her death, according to a nurse at her deathbed: Make peace.

Norah Anek, 86, the mother of Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, died on Wednesday after a long illness, said nurse Betty Akello, who was with her when she died. Her son heads the infamous Lord's Resistance Army, which has waged one of Africa's longest and most brutal rebellions, in northern Uganda.

"Moments before dying she said, 'Tell Joseph Kony to make peace," Anek said, according to Akello.

Kony has led the cult-like LRA for two decades. The rebel group that has been blamed for tens of thousands of murders, mutilations and kidnapping children for use as soldiers and sex slaves.

The government of Uganda has been looking after Kony's mother for the last 10 years as a way to induce him to stop fighting.

Anek, who sometimes is called Norah Oting, was a religious woman who never wanted her son to fight, said William Okello, a community leader. She believed her son was possessed with evil spirits, he said.

Fighting to rule

Anek told The Associated Press in a 2007 interview that her son was "costing us peace in northern Uganda".

In 2006, the government asked Anek to take part in negotiations at Garamba National Park in Congo to persuade Kony to sign a peace agreement with Uganda. Kony had suggested that a meeting with his mother would persuade him to take part in the talks. She went to the park, but the rebel group did not sign an agreement.

Two years later at his remote hideaway on the Congo-Sudan border, Kony stood up a fleet of sweating diplomats who waited for him for three days in the mosquito-infested jungle.

Kony's armed group has waged a rebellion that has drawn in northern Uganda, eastern Congo and southern Sudan. Kony, who says he is fighting to rule Uganda based on the Ten Commandments, is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes.