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Mediator Expects Peace Deal Between Ugandan Government, Rebels


Sudan's vice president says he expects Ugandan rebels and the Ugandan government to reach a peace deal in less than two months' time.

Talks to end the 20-year uprising by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army began Friday in Juba, southern Sudan.

Monday, Salva Kiir said he expects the warring sides to reach a "peaceful solution" by the end of their negotiating period.

Kiir did not mention a date, but Uganda's government has set a September 12 deadline for the talks to succeed.

Kiir is a Sudanese vice president and president of southern Sudan's regional government, which is mediating the talks. He made his comments to reporters in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, where he stopped while traveling to the United States for a meeting with President Bush on Wednesday.

On Sunday, Uganda's government issued a demand that the rebels disarm and renounce all forms of terrorism in order to receive amnesty.

The amnesty offer is complicated by the International Criminal Court, which has charged rebel leader Joseph Kony and four of his aides with war crimes.

The LRA is accused of kidnapping, mutiliating, and killing thousands of civilans. The International Criminal Court has not dropped the charges or arrest warrants for the rebel leaders, who are believed to be hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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