Historic peace talks between Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels and the government have started in Sudan.
None of the top LRA leadership are attending the talks
The rebels - who have been promised an amnesty - have not sent their top leaders to the negotiations, but say they are willing to sign a ceasefire.
The BBC's Jonah Fisher in Juba said the talks being chaired by south Sudan's Vice-President Riak Machar began with a ceremony and prayers.
They are considered northern Uganda's best chance for peace in years.
Thousands have died in the two-decade conflict between rebels and the government, and some two million have been forced to flee their homes.
"I want both delegations to approach these talks with open minds," said Sudan's Vice-President Salva Kiir, who is also the president of south Sudan at the start of the talks.
"Let the world see that now you are doing the right thing."
Before the talks began, LRA spokesman Obonyo Olweny told the BBC's Network Africa programme: "We're willing to end the war."
LRA leader Joseph Kony and four of his commanders are wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has offered them a full and guaranteed amnesty as long as they renounce violence.
Few of the 17-member LRA delegation that arrived in Juba on Thursday have combat experience and many of them are based abroad.
The LRA's Vincent Otti hands over the delegation list to Riak Machar (r)
Our correspondent says Mr Machar is trying to put a positive spin on his failed bid to convince the senior leadership to attend the talks.
He spent five days at their base on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in the hope of meeting Mr Kony.
"It was an initiative from our side to persuade... to send at least two of their top leaders who are indicted. But then they felt insecure. You can't force somebody to come to a place where he feels insecure," Mr Machar said.
As many of the LRA delegation do not live in Uganda, it is debatable whether they have the influence to negotiate on behalf of the leadership in the bush, our correspondent says.
But Mr Olweny said the LRA fighters wanted to come out of the bush and "be integrated into national life".
Mr Machar also made an appeal to the ICC, which insists the LRA arrest warrants still hold, to give the talks a chance.
"We have been telling the international community that there is the need to separate the peace process from the legal process," Mr Machar said.
The BBC's Ali Mutasa in Gulu, northern Uganda, says people there are apprehensive about the talks after hearing that Mr Kony is not be attending.
They fear it may be a ploy to give him time to regroup and strength his position, he says.
Mr Olweny, however, dismissed these fears.
"[President] Museveni's not going to the start of talks, so why should Kony come to Juba? The delegation will lay out the terms of the coming of Joseph Kony to sign the agreement."
In a recent interview broadcast on the BBC, Mr Kony denied the LRA had carried out atrocities, particularly against children.