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Last Updated: Friday, 4 February, 2005, 09:03 GMT
New ceasefire for Uganda's army
A Ugandan woman at the scene of an LRA attack
Some 1.6m people have fled their homes because of the fighting
A ceasefire announced by Uganda's government to facilitate new peace talks with rebels has come into effect.

The 18-day truce with Lord's Resistance Army rebels covers parts of northern Uganda, the government said.

Ugandan ministers met LRA rebels during a similar ceasefire last December, but peace talks broke down.

The LRA has been fighting for 18 years. It has abducted thousands of children to be fighters and sex slaves, leading some 1.6m people to flee their homes.

'No trap'

The government says the truce will be enough for both sides to agree on a full ceasefire, ahead of peace talks.

They also say that any LRA fighters who wish to leave the rebellion will be given safe access and an amnesty.

"There is no trap," Uganda's Minister of Internal Affairs Ruhakana Rugunda told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

He also denied rebel accusations that they were attacked by the army after holding meetings with the mediation team during the previous ceasefire.




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