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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2007, 17:38 GMT
Uganda rebels agree Kampala talks
Joseph Kony
Mr Kony remains in DR Congo because of the ICC warrant
Uganda's northern rebel group says it will hold unprecedented talks with the president in the capital on Thursday.

The visit by senior Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) figures will be the first to Kampala since the start of the 21-year bloody insurgency in the north.

The meeting is due after President Yoweri Museveni returns from the US, where he has had talks with President George Bush about the peace process.

Last year, LRA leaders signed a truce with the government at talks in Sudan.

Be reassured that there is no split within the Lord's Resistance Army hierarchy
LRA statement

LRA leader Joseph Kony remains at a rebel camp across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He has refused to take part in long-running but stalled peace talks in south Sudan unless the International Criminal Court lifts an arrest warrant against him.

Some two million people have been displaced and thousands killed during the conflict in northern Uganda.

Ahead of Mr Museveni's trip to the US, Ugandans petitioned Mr Bush to re-affirm his support for the ongoing peace process by urging the Ugandan leader not to seek a military option to end the rebellion.

'Cement achievements'

Thursday's talks - to be attended by the rebels' chief negotiator Martin Ojul - are to pave the way for the LRA to hold nationwide consultations aimed at finding a lasting peace.


An advance party of LRA security representatives have been in Kampala since Monday.

"The LRA peace team led by Mr Ojul will meet President Museveni before embarking on its mission covering West Nile, northern and eastern, central and western Uganda," LRA spokesman George Ayoo said at a press conference in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

He said that Mr Ojul, who was present at the media briefing, will be accompanied by South Sudan Information Minister Samson Kwaje and representatives from South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique during the consultation exercise.

Earlier, Uganda's Internal Affairs Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who heads the government mediation team, said the new development will cement the achievements made in Juba, south Sudan's capital.

"We think that confidence has been built within both sides and we do not expect the walk outs that have been experienced in the past," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

The LRA has once again dismissed reports of fighting between Mr Kony and his deputy, leading to mass desertions.

"To you people of Uganda be reassured that there is no split within the Lord's Resistance Army hierarchy," said an LRA statement issued at the press conference.

"There is superb and warm relationship between General Joseph Kony and Lt Gen Vincent Otti."


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