Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has ordered a seven-day halt to fighting with the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army in a small area of the country. Mr. Museveni’s announcement covers only about 480 square kilometers in the north and was to take effect at 1500 UTC.
The government-run “New Vision” newspaper says former northern minister Betty Bigombe has had “clear indications” from the LRA that it wants to end the long conflict. For more on the story, English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua spoke with English to Africa reporter Herbert Were in the capital, Kampala.
He says the president’s announcement is not being called a ceasefire, but rather a “cessation of hostilities.” It affects only a small area because that is where the LRA crosses back and forth between Uganda and Sudan. The move will allow LRA commanders to enter the country and discuss opening peace talks. Government operations against the LRA will continue in other areas.
There are conditions attached to President Museveni’s announcement. The government says the seven days are to allow the LRA commanders to meet and reach a consensus and then denounce hostilities. If they denounce their rebellion, the government will cease its operations throughout the country for at least ten days.