Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Defiance from the LRA?

It is increasing difficult to understand why credible news organizations and international news agencies continue to quote the nonsense being spewed by David Matsanga.

For those who don't know this man, he is the so-called spokesman for the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which has gone on a bloody rampage in the Democratic Republic of Congo since Christmas and killed 400 innocent people.

Senseless killing is standard operating procedure for the LRA. This time it's in response to the Dec. 14 attack on the LRA camps by the Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudanese armies.

Any true military force would combat another military force that attacked it. But not the LRA. This cult of killers responds by killing defenseless villagers, then thumps its chest about how "invicible" it is.

And, there is Matsanga, taking calls from news hacks and claiming that it is not the LRA, but the Uganda army that is killing the civilians. And, pathetically, the news organizations publish that.

The most recent nonsense sent around the world came from the Voice of America. Matsanga told VOA the killings were carried out by a special battalion of the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) called Battalion 105 that is composed of former LRA combatants who have defected.

It's an interesting idea, but like everything Matsanga says, impossible to take seriously.

The many former LRA fighters I have interviewed -- something Matsanga has not done -- would welcome the opportunity to put a bullet into the head of each and every LRA commander for what these abducted children were forced to do by the LRA. This included killing their own parents, or mutilating their friends and relatives.

Matsanga goes on to say that he has talked with the LRA leader Joseph Kony (who the VOA dutifully calls "general") and he has informed Matsanga that the LRA was not responsible for the alleged killings.

Why would anyone believe Kony? And, where is he?

Now, this is the same Matsanga who earlier this year told the world he spoke for the LRA and convinced the international community to trek to the jungles where they were to witness Kony signing a peace agreement with Uganda.

Of course, Kony didn't. Once confronted, Matsanga confessed that he had never really talked with Kony, who probably didn't even know he was supposed to show up and sign a document he knew nothing about.

But, this has not stopped people like Matsanga from continuing to claim he represents the LRA, while sitting in his house in Nairobi. And, it has not stopped the news hacks at VOA from giving this man a global forum for his unique brand of nonsense.

It is no wonder that fewer and fewer people take news organizations, especially newspapers, seriously anymore, and prefer to read blogs like this.

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