By Will Ross
Efforts to end the 18-year war in northern Uganda through dialogue are
continuing despite the fact that a seven-day limited ceasefire ordered by
the Ugandan president has expired.
The government has not yet indicated whether it will extend the truce in a limited but large area of northern Uganda.
Thousands of children have been abducted by the LRA
The army spokesman says the military will still hold fire within the
ceasefire zone awaiting instruction from commander in chief
President Yoweri Museveni.
The Lords Resistance Army rebels have indicated they want to hold peace
talks with the government.
There is hope that the current peace effort could end the conflict in which over 20,000 children have been abducted and 1.5 million people displaced from their homes.
A former government minister, Betty Bigombe, is currently trying to mediate
between the LRA and the government.
She recently held a face to face meeting with a senior LRA commander - giving some hope that dialogue between the two sides can be achieved.
The Ugandan president has called on the LRA to make a strong commitment to stop fighting.
A definitive response from the rebels has not yet been given.
Those calling for peace talks are keen for the government to extend the
ceasefire period to allow the peace effort to continue. Previous attempts to hold peace talks have broken down largely due to a lack
of trust between the two sides.
The conflict has had a devastating impact on northern
Uganda - with massive loss of life, abduction and displacement.
It may be fragile but the peace effort is continuing.