Peacekeeping: January 8, 2004

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About 200 Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels are stranded in the eastern Congo three kilometers from the Ugandan border, after the UN peacekeeping force gave them an ultimatum to surrender or be forcefully disarmed. However, the rebels preferred relocation to an undisclosed location inside Uganda and while reportedly refusing to disarm, did send ahead 30 men to see if the conditions at home were safe enough for the rest to return.

The Uganda Amnesty Commission (UAC) had been negotiating with MONUC over the ADF rebels' surrender, thought to number as many as 600. The UN Security Council's 2003 decision to upgrade MONUC's role to include peace enforcement had empowered that UN mission to effectively engage rebel groups seeking to destabilize Uganda.

The amnesty, declared last year for armed opponents of President Museveni's government, ends on January 18. The ADF declared war against the Ugandan government in 1996, but had been defeated by the end of 2000. - Adam Geibel

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