Uganda: Rebels Assemble for Surrender

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September 25, 2006: The ceasefire has continued to hold, which seems to have surprised both the Ugandan government and the LRA. The LRA rebels continue to arrive in the two south Sudan assembly areas (Owiny-ki-Bul and Ri-Kwangba). It appears that at least 1000 LRA rebels have entered the assembly areas. Early reports that senior LRA commander Vincent Otti was in Ri-Kwangba were apparently untrue. Still, the Ugandan government said it remains "encouraged" and has re-extended its deadline to begin peace negotiations. The peace negotiations do matter, particularly if the negotiations lead to an agreement that will "demobilize" LRA fighters and allow them to return to Uganda. The sticking point will be LRA leader Joseph Kony and his cohorts like Otti, who are under indictment for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Kony and Otti have no interest in a peace deal that sends them to jail. The Ugandan government is in a bind since it was instrumental in bringing the criminal charges. For its part, the LRA said that it "rejects" the Ugandan government's peace negotiating team that is scheduled to attend opening talks later this week in Juba, Sudan. The LRA also accused the Ugandan government of sending troops to "threaten" LRA rebels who were in the Owiny-ki-Bul assembly camp. Sudan has let Ugandan troops enter Sudan to conduct operations against the LRA. Another LRA spokesman said the camp as being "besieged" by the Ugandan military.
September 24, 2006: LRA leader Joseph Kony remains inside the Congo (DRC). Uganda claims that the LRA has a base camp inside the Congo's Garamba Naitonal Park (northeast Congo).
September 22, 2006: The Ugandan government said that if peace talks with the LRA failed its forces were prepared to "pursue" the LRA. However, the Ugandan government also acknowledged that former LRA members would have to be "reintegrated into the society."

 

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