Uganda’s independent newspaper the Monitor says President Yoweri Museveni has announced a two-pronged approach for ending a war with Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in the north. The president will continue to use military force against them but will also leave the door open for continued negotiations outside the country.
Negotiations broke down last Friday when the LRA said it wanted more time to study the terms of a proposed total ceasefire. A temporary truce expired Friday night, and the government said it will not renew it.
Frank Nyakairu is a war correspondent for the Monitor in Kampala, Uganda. He told VOA reporter William Eagle there are elements in both groups that do not seem to want a ceasefire.
Mr. Nyakairu said the government gave mixed messages when the defense minister said the talks would not address power sharing, only surrender, while President Museveni said --- in a more general sense -- the talks would be aimed at ending the war. According to Mr. Nyakairu, the government also did not trust the rebels’ negotiating team, which was made of little known LRA members, and not high-level rebel officials. He says the talks may have failed because of mutual mistrust, extremists elements on both sides who wish to see a continuation of war, and the absence of top LRA commanders who can make concrete decisions. He says the army believes it can end the rebel movement with force within a few months.