How do you negotiate with a mad man? The Lord's Resistance Army is accused of killing hundreds during Christmas celebrations


AFP/Getty Images - Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, in 2006.


Those were the words I spoke this morning when I read the news.
During Christmas celebrations in the region of Haut Uélé, northeastern
DRC, UN officials are reporting that more than 120 homes were torched
and 189 people were killed by the Lord's Resistance Army.Other aid
groups, such as Caritas, according to the BBC, have placed that number as high as 400 people killed since Christmas.

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has denied the accusations, stating the rebels were not in the area at the time of the attacks.

When you work in Uganda, the LRA consumes many a dinner
conversation, huge parts of every day and many trips. One of my
non-journalist friends once said, "You have to stop talking about the
LRA all the time. Stop it. I'm going crazy!" We promptly ignored him
and continued.

Human Rights Watch has a background on the conflict here.

I've watched attempts at peace processes come and go and through it
all, as much I wish for peace in the region, I also have a hard time
coming to terms with the question: how do you negotiate with a mad man?

The conflict between the government and the rebel army
is complex and fluid. While the conflict has now moved out of Northern
Uganda, across the border into the DRC, while also slipping into Sudan
at times, this corner of the continent is one I'm always watching,
hoping, waiting, that it one day could end.

And now we sit, watch, wait and hope again.


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