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Monday, 13 March, 2000, 17:10 GMT
LRA leader mocks Ugandan amnesty


The rebel leader of the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda has rejected President Museveni's offer of an amnesty, in a tape-recording of his thoughts currently in circulation.

The recording by the rebel leader, Joseph Kony, also mocks peace efforts by northern religious leaders and elders.

He appealed for international peace talks with President Museveni something already rejected by Mr Museveni.

Mr Kony, whose movement is accused of abducting and exploiting ten-thousand Ugandan children, said the twenty-one schoolgirls kidnapped in 1996 from Aboke would never be released; he said they were now rebel nurses and officers. A BBC correspondent who went to Gulu, said the tape, which was authenticated by a former LRA rebel, is a blow to hopes that the government's amnesty bill and a December peace accord between Uganda and Sudan, the LRA's alleged backer, would end the LRA's thirteen-year insurgency.

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