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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 13:28 GMT
Move to boost Uganda peace talks
By Sarah Grainger
BBC News, Kampala

UN special envoy for Uganda Joaquim Chissano
Joaquim Chissano is visiting Uganda to help bolster peace talks
The newly appointed United Nations envoy for Uganda makes his first visit hoping to bring fresh impetus to the government's peace talks with rebels.

Ex-Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano was appointed last month to help resolve the 20-year conflict.

Talks between the government and Lord's Resistance Army rebels began in July 2006, but progress has been slow.

He is due to meet President Museveni on Friday before travelling to southern Sudan for the resumption of the talks.

There he is expected to meet the LRA delegation.

The negotiations, mediated by the southern Sudan government, were suspended over the Christmas and New Year season and are due to resume in Juba on Monday.

Last month, President Museveni held his first direct talks with a member of the LRA when he spoke by satellite phone with the second in command, Vincent Otti.

War crimes

A cessation of hostilities agreement, signed by both sides, was also extended in December for a second time, until 28 February.

Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony (file image)
Rebel leader Joseph Kony is wanted on war crimes charges

The LRA rebels have until then to assemble at two designated points in southern Sudan.

But these seemingly positive steps do not alter the fact that after almost six months, the delegates at the peace talks have still only reached item number two.

And one serious sticking point has yet to be discussed - the issue of reconciliation and accountability.

LRA leader Joseph Kony and three of his top commanders are wanted on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court and have indicated that no deal can be signed while warrants for their arrest remain in place.

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