[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2006, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Uganda rebels drop truce demand
LRA fighters
The LRA declared a unilateral ceasefire a week ago
The Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army says it is dropping its demand that the government declare a ceasefire in the conflict in northern Uganda.

Earlier, the LRA said its delegation would not resume peace talks until the government also declared a truce.

The LRA said it had confirmed a government claim that the Ugandan military had killed a senior commander during fighting in northern Uganda.

It said it wanted three days to mourn the war crimes suspect Raskia Lukwiya.

LRA spokesman Obonyo Olwely condemned the killing and called on "all peace-loving Ugandans" to put pressure on the government to declare a cessation of hostilities.

But the LRA said it was still prepared to continue with the peace talks taking place in southern Sudan.

Mr Lukwiya, who was shot dead by Ugandan soldiers on Saturday, was wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Mourning

"We have agreed to continue with the peace talks," Mr Olweny said.

"We do not want to be blamed if the talks collapse, but we know the Ugandan government wants the talks to fail," he added.

Peace talks between government negotiators and LRA representatives in southern Sudan were postponed at the weekend after the two sides failed to agree on an end to hostilities.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has set a 12 September deadline for thrashing out a final peace deal.

The LRA declared a unilateral truce last week but then refused to attend more talks until the government followed suit.

The government has called for a comprehensive ceasefire, which includes a demand for the rebels to provide details of their forces and deployment.

Guarantee

The government also wants a guarantee the LRA will not use the halt in fighting to reinforce its positions.

The talks, brokered by the government of south Sudan, had been considered the best chance of ending the 20-year war in northern Uganda.

Mr Lukwiya was among five top members of the LRA, including the group's leader Joseph Kony, who are sought by the International Criminal Court to face charges including murder, rape and forcibly enlisting children.

Against the wishes of the ICC, Uganda has offered amnesty to LRA leaders in exchange for peace talks.

The LRA has abducted thousands of children and forced them to fight since the conflict in the north began two decades ago.


RELATED BBC LINKS

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



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific