Contact us: Independence House Plot 11/13 Olya Rd Gulu City, 0711 111 666, Email Us

Ex-LRA Commander Reveals How and Why Kony Killed Otti

Kwoyelo in Court

By Tolit Ivan And Agency

Thomas Kwoyelo, the former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Commander has told court the circumstances under which LRA Commander Joseph Kony brutally murdered Vincent Otti and three other commanders.

Kwoyelo who is currently appearing at his Defence trial before the International Crimes Division of the High Court sitting in Gulu, told court on Monday that Kony brutally murdered Brigadier General Vincent Otti together with three other commanders, Otim Record who was the director Records, Acellam Ben, the Brigade Commander of Condo Brigade and Lieutenant Anyimaja after rumors emerged that the four were planning to defect with unspecified number of soldiers.

According to Kwoyelo, the four were killed around March, 2008 from Garamba, Democratic Republic of Congo shortly after Kony called them back from the Peace talks in Rekwamba in Congo.

In 2008, according to Kwoyelo, tension ensued between Gen. Joseph Kony and Lt. General Vincent Otti. At the time, Opiyo Makasi was the Director of Operations. He noted that Kony lived separately from Otti who was at the time staying with Opiyo Makasi.

He said one day in 2008, Kony sent Lt. Gen Vincent Otti, Opiyo Makasi, Otim Records, and Ben Acellam, the then Brigade Commander of Ondo Brigade to Rikwamba in Western Equatoria in Sudan regarding the then-ongoing peace talks.

After they had gone and spent about a day, Kwoyelo said he had an impression that Kony himself would also follow Otti there, but he however later sent a message to Otti to return to Garamba National Park in Congo.

Kwoyelo told the court that Kony later ordered the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) Otto Agweng and Abudema Abuk to select some soldiers from within his bodyguards to be on standby. After the LRA soldiers were selected, Kony instructed his commanders to arrest the escorts of Vincent Otti and disarm them. The commanders were also ordered to set up an ambush and arrest Otti, Otim Records, and Ben Acellam once they returned from Rikwamba.

He noted that when Vincent Otti returned, he was immediately arrested along with Otim Records, and Ben Acellam and were later moved to where Kony was staying. The arrest according to him forced Opiyo Makasi, the then Director of Operations after witnessing what happened to run away to the bush together with his wife.

According to Kwoyelo, the following day, according to him at about 9 pm or 9:30 pm, he heard the sound of gunshots similar to that of PK from a distance which he realized later was used to shoot dead Vincent Otti across a nearby stream. He later also said he heard another sound of gunshots from PK and SMG at a home nearby where the selected LRA soldiers had gone to arrest one of the commanders called Ayimaga, a Madi tribesman.

Ayimaga reportedly resisted the arrest and in retaliation, he was shot dead. The bullet also hit one of the LRA soldiers dead and the escort of Kwoyelo known as Okwera from Pader District who was in one of the huts after was also hit and injured in the thighs.

Kwoyelo whose trial commenced in September 2018 has been in custody at Luzira Maximum Prison since 2009 after being captured by the Ugandan Army in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in March same year.

He is the first among the top LRA commanders to face a domestic court on crimes related to sexual violence, murder, kidnap, robbery and pillaging allegedly committed between 1993 and 2005 in Pabbo and Lamogi sub-counties in the present-day Amuru district.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top