Monday, March 05, 2007

UN envoy meets LRA leader Joseph Kony nr Sudan-DRC border - Juba peace talks resume this week- Dr Machar

Mar 5 2007 SomaliNet news report by David Odoki:
Peace talks between the Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army are set to resume this week, after a months' long lull. The decision was reached at a seven-hour meeting last Thursday between UN envoy Joachim Chissano and rebel leader Joseph Kony.

Former Mozambique president Chissano is the UN envoy for the conflict in Northern Uganda. Dr Riek Machar, the chief mediator and vice-president of South Sudan, told Daily Monitor that he expects the LRA negotiating team to return to Juba this Wednesday.

"I expect the LRA delegation to return to Juba for us to resume the peace talks," Dr Machar said by telephone from Juba. A review of the cessation of hostilities agreement renewed in December would be first on the agenda, he said.

Early this year, the LRA's delegation left Juba demanding a change of venue and mediator, citing bias by Dr Machar and an unsafe environment in South Sudan.

Those issues, which have stalled the talks, appear to have been discussed in the meeting that transpired between Mr Chissano the LRA's leadership, sources said.

The meeting, which is Kony's second with a top UN official, took place late Friday in an undisclosed location near the Sudan-DR Congo border.

Late last year former UN humanitarian affairs chief Jan Egeland visited Kony at his remote base in Garamba, DR Congo.-(The Monitor)

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