Since the Invisible Children (Kony2012
) put Uganda on the map last year, no one can claim he doesn't know about Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) crimes and atrocities. Neither can he forget the thousands of child soldiers recruited by Kony. According to French businessman and African insider Jean-Yves Ollivier, this terrible situation could have ended years ago if the International Criminal Court had shown to be a little more pragmatic.
Ollivier, who recently published a column in Slate
, explains that six years ago negotiations between Ugandese President Yoweni Museveni and Joseph Kony were about to succeed and that it was the ICC that did not allow a peace agreement allowing to end years of mass killings and sufferings.
A deal was ready to be found in 2006 and Museveni sent former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano and Jean-Yves Ollivier to finalize it. Joseph Kony accepted to put an end to his rebellion but requested some cattle, two houses to be built in his home village... and an amnesty from the international court.
On one hand here is a criminal that everybody would love seing trialed for the atrocities he commited, and on one other are the lives of thousands of people being killed, raped, mutilated in the past six years (and whose fate is unfortunately not close to changing).
Joachim Chissano was sent by Museveni to meet ICC prosecutor Luis-Moreno Ocampo. Unfortunately the ICC stood on its dogmatic position and refused to compromise. Without an ICC amnesty, Kony refused to sign the peace treaty and the situation has not evolved since.
As a result, more than six years later, the ICC's dogmatic posture is responsible for thousands and deaths and the continuing devastation of Uganda, says Jean-Yves Ollivier, who was part of the negotiating team along with Chissano.
Is there a time when moral standards have to adjust to reality? Is the fate of a criminal such as Kony worth the lives of that many innocent civilians?
I'm a French national who has been living in Africa for the past ten years. This continent deserves better than paternalism and condescendance.