[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 February, 2005, 15:22 GMT
Uganda rebel commander surrenders
Ugandan LRA commander, Brig Sam Kolo
Brig Kolo was instrumental in the peace process
A key official in the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has surrendered.

Brigadier Sam Kolo, the LRA's top negotiator in recent peace talks, gave himself up to the army, according to government mediator Betty Bigombe.

He was attacked by rebels as he tried to escape and phoned the army who came to his rescue in Kitgum district, reports the BBC's Ali Mutasa.

During the 19-year war the LRA has abducted thousands of children, causing some 1.6m people to flee their homes.

Rational rebel

The military says Brig Kolo's life was in danger following a dispute with LRA deputy leader Vincent Otti. He is now at an army base in Gulu.

I want to assure everyone that it does not mark the end of the peace process
Mediator Betty Bigombe

Ms Bigombe, a former Ugandan minister who is acting as a mediator in the conflict, insisted his surrender would not affect the peace talks and said she would continue to negotiate an end to the war.

"I want to assure everyone that it does not mark the end of the peace process.

"I already talked to Vincent Otti, who told me he was going to take over and be in charge of the peace talks in the absence of Brig Kolo," she told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

But correspondents say Brig Kolo was viewed as the most rational of the LRA commanders and therefore, someone with whom the government could talk.

In what was viewed as a major breakthrough, he recently met face to face with a Ugandan minister, raising hopes of an end to the conflict

At the December talks he told our correspondent he was "tired of being a rebel".

Earlier this month another member of the LRA negotiating team - Col Onon Kamdulu - gave himself up.

A ceasefire is currently in place during which time the government has promised that all LRA fighters who wish to leave the rebellion will be given safe access and an amnesty.




RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific