The Central African Republic’s president said Thursday he was in contact with Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, one of the world’s most wanted war criminals, to negotiate his surrender.
“It’s true, Joseph Kony wants to come out of the bush. We are negotiating with him,” Michel Djotodia said during a meeting with political leaders in the capital Bangui.
“He asked for food supplies and the government took care of that,” said Djotodia, whose country has been sliding into lawlessness since he seized power in a coup earlier this year.
Djotodia’s comments confirmed claims by a UN envoy on Wednesday that he was in talks with Joseph Kony, who has been wanted since 2005 by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army once fought the regime of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni but in recent years, the defeated remnants of the group have operated mostly in neighbouring countries as a roving mercenary and extortionist gang.
LRA men have raped and massacred villagers in the region, evading arrest in one of the most impenetrable regions of Africa straddling the borders of the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
The LRA envoys of the UN and African Union said on Wednesday there were indications that Kony might be seeking to come out of the bush because he is thought to be seriously ill.