NOVEMBER 11, 2009: Kony's Mother Dies

Kony's Mother Dies a Troubled Woman
SOURCE: Monitor
By Linda Nabusayi

It was fast getting dark and there was an eerie mood surrounding Nyenje Village, Goma Sub-county in Mukono District.

Death had just harvested one of their own, a resident who evoked emotional feelings of love, hate, confusion and pity.

Mama Norah Anek Oting is the mother of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army that has ravaged northern Uganda for over two decades, wiping out generations.

Following the death of her husband Luigi Obol, Oting was left to face the harsh reality brought upon her family, her people and her country by her son. And the only person - President Museveni who took her in and protected her, was a man whose government so vehemently pursued her son and his rebel group out of northern Uganda to stop the carnage he had unleashed.

But, to borrow the words of my mother: "We only produce and are responsible for the body not for the hearts and souls of our children." So did Maama Oting and half of what is left of her family.

Punished by her people because of the sins of her son, Oting was haunted out of her ancestral home in Olam Village, Odek Sub-county in Gulu District and fled to Mukono in 1988.

According to information from Gulu, Oting was disowned by her community after Kony started killing people and abducting children.

A mother of nine, Oting lost five of her children. Of the surviving four children, two boys Joseph Kony and Olanya Rachico are believed to be in the jungles of the Central African Republic. The other two daughters Ms Betty Akidi and Ms Gabriela Lakot have stayed at their mothers' side until her death.

"She always wanted Kony to negotiate with the government and give up war," Ms Akidi quoted her mother as saying.

With no relatives to shelter her and a community that was hostile to her and her daughters, Oting found solace in President Museveni, his son's worst enemy.

She met President Museveni several times and urged him not to give up the peace talks.

She also offered to personally go and meet her son in the bush at his request to convince him to abandon war.

Oting was granted that wish and was airlifted to South Sudan to meet her son whom she had not seen for 17 years. They last saw each other in 1989 before Kony went to the bush.

The meeting, which was organised by now Resident District Commissioner of Gulu District Col (Rtd) Walter Ochora as part of confidence building for the peace process, saw Oting trek for over 16 kilometers and back into the jungles of South Sudan in Ri-Kwangba.

According to Col Ochora, after an emotional meeting in which his mother cried profusely, Kony promised to abandon the war and come home...
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