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Northern Uganda Cease-Fire in Limbo

In Uganda, the signing of a cease-fire agreement between the Ugandan government and a northern rebel group has been postponed.

Ugandan Interior Minister Ruhakana Rugunda told VOA Friday the government is still waiting to hear from the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group (LRA) concerning the cease-fire agreement.

He said the government does not know when the rebels will report back to the government for the signing of the agreement.

"We do not know when it will be signed, because the consultations are still going on within the [rebel] group, and they have not specifically informed us as to when they will complete the consultations," he said.

In an earlier interview, Mr. Rugunda said he had hoped the cease-fire agreement could be signed by the end of the day Friday, before a limited cease-fire that the government announced last month expired.

There are hopes that the agreement under discussion will pave the way for negotiations between the government and the rebels to end the 18-year-old insurgency, in which more than 20,000 children have been kidnapped, more than 1.5f million people displaced and thousands of local residents maimed and killed.

Over the years, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to hold peace talks between the government and the rebels to end the violence.