In a statement said to be from the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and issued in Paris this weekend, the guerrilla force has apparently fired what's left of its negotiating team, according to the Sudan Tribune, on-line edition.
This is a simpering end to a bizarre and tortured history of negotiations between the LRA and Uganda that has had little or no credibility since they began two-and-a-half years ago in Juba, South Sudan.
The most immediate effect is that it means the end of David Nyekorach-Matsanga's claims that he speaks for the LRA.
As mentioned in an early edition of this blog, Matsanga's credibility was sabotaged in last spring when he announced that he was heading a new team of LRA negotiators
He claimed to be in touch with the LRA's leader, the self-proclaimed prophet and spirit medium Joseph Kony, who had agreed to sign the peace deal with Uganda that had been negotiated by the earlier, and perhaps even less credible team.
Matsanga even convinced the international community to fly him to The Hague, Netherlands, along with a couple of Kampala lawyers, to make an appeal to the International Criminal Court.
The court has indictments against Kony and his remaining two top commanders for war crimes and crimes against humanity pending since 2005.
These Matsanga claimed were why Kony wouldn't sign.
Therefore the court should drop the indictments and let Kony go free, he said. The court didn't, of course, and sent Matsanga packing.
Reality dawned on the international community in late April 2008 when Kony didn't show at a pre-arranged site to sign the peace deal, despite the presence of hundreds of "officials" to witness the event.
When it was revealed that Matsanga had never talked with Kony and had duped the entire assembled cadre of blithering apologists for this, Africa's most vicious and demonic cult, he fled the jungle enclave.
As the Sudan Tribune notes, he was arrested at the Juba airport with a letter from Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and $20,000 in cash. The money was his pay from the international community for his "work" as team leader. The letter showed that Matsanga had been used by Museveni.
But the lunacy didn't stop. Others in the so-called negotiating team said it all had been a misunderstanding and that Kony would sign the deal a month later. Again, Kony's didn't show.
By this time, Kony's marauders had already completed an extended raid across portions of South Sudan and into the Central African Republic, killing, looting and abducting hundreds of people to bolster its force.
Then Matsanga resurfaced, again claiming he was the spokesman for the LRA and that Kony would sign the deal. Then for the third time last year, people from northern Uganda, the UN, and the international community traipsed to the jungle.
Again, Kony didn't sign, and as mentioned in earlier entries, threatened the ethnic leaders from the north, calling them traitors.
Kony was finally attacked on Dec. 14 in his camps in northern DRC by the Uganda army, which propelled Kony's LRA on the bloodiest rampage in the militia-cult's history.
The apparent official statement, meanwhile, ends all contacts with Matsanga and a couple of women named Miss Abalo and Justine Labeja, both presumable from northern Uganda.
The statement was also reportedly sent to all of the official parties who have been involved in the so-called negotiations, including the United Nations, African Union, non-governmental organisations, UN special envoy to the talks, Joachim Chissano, and presidents of the DRC, Kenya, Southern Sudan, Central African Republic, Uganda, and various international observers.
What this means is unclear, but one can guess. First of all, it means that Kony has finally acknowledged that the peace talks were a farce and nothing more than a ruse for him and his negotiating "team" to collect per diem payment from the international community.
Rumors were that in order to be part of the team, one had to share the cash with Kony. This was in addition to the tons of food that was shipped to the jungle each month for Kony by the Catholic Charity, Caritas, and paid for by the blithering apologists.
Now that he has been attacked, Kony has realized it's over and the gravy train has stopped rolling his way.
What is next, is anyone's guess. My prediction is that Kony will regroup his beleaguered forces and take them to the CAR. In the meanwhile, he'll be desperately reaching out to anyone willing to provide him arms and cash, as he continues to loot and kill innocents in the region.
What we can expect is a slow but steady devolution of the region into the same bloody no-man's land that Kony created for 20 years in northern Uganda.