UGANDA'S LRA REBELS DEMAND FRESH TALKS WITH GOV'T WITH UN ENVOY AS CHAIR
Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on Monday said that they were ready for peace talks with the Ugandan government if only the chair of the peace talks, Riek Machar who is also the Vice-President of Southern Sudan steps down, and they also demanded that a special United Nations envoy be appointed to take over as chair of the peace talks.
Addressing a news conference in Nairobi, the LRA spokesman, David Matsanga said that LRA has already lost confidence in Machar.
“He has lost credibility in the peace talks”, he said and accused him to be the stumbling block to the peace process.
He accused Machar of being sympathetic to the Ugandan government and called him a traitor in regard to the military attacks on LRA on December 14 code-named “Operation lighting thunder”.
He said that the special UN envoy will report directly to the Security Council and brief the Council on every step of the peace talks.
The spokesman said that the LRA was committed to the peace talks despite the government attacks.
Matsanga said that the LRA leader Joseph Kony has proposed a change of the venue of the peace process, saying that either Tanzania or South Africa could host the talks.
He called an end to the tripartite air raids on LRA bases by Congolese, Ugandan and Southern Sudanese forces adding that the attacks have instead intensified the long drawn 22 year-old conflict.
He further maintained that the signing of the Final Peace Agreement(FPA) has been impeded due to the arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC)) against Kony.
Monday, December 22, 2008
From APA-Nairobi (Kenya) 22 December 2008: