Sunday, March 8, 2009

The depths of depravity

The call supposedly came from this man, Okot Odhiambo, pictured above as published in the Sunday edition of the New Vision newspaper in Kampala.

The photo accompanies an article by staff writer Barbara Among that delves into the issue of the calls and/or calls several weeks ago by Odhiambo, the number two man in the LRA, to the International Organization for Migration, that he and the LRA's nubmer three man, Dominic Ongwen, wanted to surrender.
Among says the call was a hoax and cites a number of sources inside the Ugandan intelligence community.
Security sources have idenitifed the caller as a man named Richard Komakech, who is suspected to have been making calls pausing as Odhiambo offering to surrender, Among writes.
“This man is a former rebel and had a satellite phones and Global Position System (GPS) which he has been using,” a source said.
When news broke of the call, there was a flurry of excitement because it would have been a major blow to the LRA and an even greater victory for the stalled Ugandan operation to kill or capture LRA leader Joseph Kony in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Just as quickly as the story sufaced, it died, leaving the IOM gasping for air, as Among points out.
The IOM has been tight-lipped regarding any information on Odhiambo, Among writes, except for a press statement on February 3 that it did not have any knowledge of Odhiambo’s whereabouts.
“IOM has no authority to arrest any individual… Nor does it have any information on Odhiambo’s whereabouts,” read a press statement on its website.
Questions abound as to whether the organisation was at any one point in touch with Odhiambo, Among correctly writes.
“I highly doubted it was Odhiambo," Gulu Resident District commissioner Col. Walter Ochora told New Vision. "You can’t pick a phone and say ‘I am Odhiambo’, when still under the command of Joseph Kony. That would be madness. Odhiambo could not make that mistake.”
Military intelligence concurred with Ochora, saying the announcement was a military tactic, initiated by Kony’s supporters from outside Uganda.
“Those are tactics. At the time, the forces had mounted pressure on him and he needed a breather,” said a security officer, who preferred anonymity told
Among, adding that Komakech could have been pausing as Odhiambo for the reason security is yet to establish.
I would offer that the reason is simple: we're dealing with the deadly and depraved people here, people who will do and say anything to anybody, any where and at any time, if they think they can benefit from it.
But even more disconcerting is that this apparent hoax could be part of an even more deeply established organization that supports Kony by trying to derail the Ugandan army as it pursues Kony.
This organization, which is inside and outside of Uganda, condones the recent killing of at least 900 innocent civilians in northeastern DRC who have had nothing at all to do with the LRA or its so-called war against Uganda.
After all, no one yet has offered a reasonable explanation as to why or how Kony was tipped off the day before the attack on his camps on Dec. 14.
This of course has led to speculation that it was intentionally leaked, thus allowing the Uganda military operation to continue indefinately and for international money to flow into the Uganda military machine indefinately as well.
There is plenty to wonder about with this operation to find one of the world's most wanted men, but topping the list is, What are the depth of depavity?


Bamong said...

Just wondering, which is this organization in and outside you, that you alluded too.
The Northern Uganda war is a complex one and Operation Lightning thunder has its own complexities.Among B.

CWhoa said...

I heard your interview on W+K radio and found your blog here. Your RSS feed seems to be broken, or at least I can't add it to my Google reader subscriptions. Thanks!

Quitstorm said...

You are a great reporter,is your book avairable in Kampala?I would like to read more about you.