Home / International / International -- World Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Agreement Signed to Cease Hostilities in Uganda
Adjust font size:

Ugandan government and the rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army have signed an agreement to cease hostilities, which was seen as a major breakthrough in the ongoing peace talks kicked off on July 14 in Juba, southern Sudan.

After long hours of hard bargaining that stretched from mid-morning on Friday into the early hours of Saturday, the two sides reached a deal which should be renewed bi-weekly upon review of the peace talks and compliance by both parties.

"We hope that now the two principals will take action so that the guns can go silent," said the chief mediator, southern Sudanese Vice-President Riek Machar, quoted by Sunday Monitor as saying, referring to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the LRA commander Joseph Kony.
The signing that took place on Saturday afternoon at Juba Raha Hotel is a major breakthrough in talks aimed at finding peace in northern Uganda, an agriculturally rich region that has been blighted by a brutal war for 20 years.

"We have agreed on the issues and put our signatures on the document," said Paddy Ankunda, the spokesman of the government delegation in Juba. "We are happy, and now we will continue working for a comprehensive peace agreement."

Ugandan Internal Affairs Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, the leader of the government team, signed for Kampala while Martin Ojul, the LRA delegation chief, signed for the rebels.

"The parties agree to cease all hostile military action aimed at each other and any other action that may undermine the peace talks," the deal, which will take effect at 6 AM on Tuesday, August 29, says in part.

Cessation of hostilities means that both parties keep their positions and arms but stop fighting and hostile propaganda. On the other hand, ceasefire means that both parties have stopped fighting and are on the verge of demobilization.

Cessation is intended to give a conducive environment for the peace talks process as opposed to the ceasefire, which is usually part of a comprehensive peace agreement.

The deal requires all LRA forces in Uganda and Sudan to assemble at Owiny-ki-Bul in Eastern Equatoria State in southern Sudan and those in the Democratic Republic of Congo at Ri-Kwangba in Western Equatoria State in southern Sudan.

The LRA are required to reach the two points within three weeks as of the agreement taking effect.

The cult-like LRA under the leadership of Kony is responsible for the killing, raping and abduction of civilians in their insurgency in northern Uganda, which has left tens of thousands of people dead and over 1.4 million homeless.

Museveni has promised a total amnesty to the LRA leadership indicted by the UN's International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague last year for war crimes, if the two warring parties finally sign a peace deal before September 12.

The ongoing peace talks in Juba, brokered by southern Sudan authority, are seen as another historic chance to end the LRA insurgency, one of Africa's longest conflicts after a dozen of such attempts failed in the last few years.

(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
LRA Asks S. Africa to Mediate Peace Talks with Gov't
Ugandan Gov't Accuses LRA Rebels of Rearming in DRC
Ugandan President Sets Terms for Cease-Fire with Rebel Group
Emergency Session on Uganda's War-torn North Urged
DRC Vows to Pursue LRA Rebels in Bushes
Ugandan Gov't, Rebels Continue Peace Talks
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号