Peace talks between the Ugandan government and the rebel Lords Resistance Army continued today in the Southern Sudanese regional capital, Juba. This, following a day after Kampala demanded the LRA disarm and renounce all forms of terrorism in order to receive amnesty.
The talks are brokered by the Southern Sudan regional government. Salva Kiir, who is Sudan’s First Vice President and President of the South, says he expects Ugandan rebels and the Ugandan government to reach a peace deal in less than two months time. Speaking to reporters in Nairobi earlier today, Kiir said he expects the warring sides “to reach a peaceful solution by the end of their negotiating period.” Mr. Kiir did not mention a date, but Kampala has set a September 12th deadline for the talks to succeed.
Mr. Kiir says, “The decision to broker the peace talks between Kampala and the rebels, whose top five leaders are wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, was a difficult one. We were forced into this position because its our people who are dying.” He says the Ugandan government has two choices: to fight the LRA militarily, which would take time, or to talk to them, which is easy. Mr. Kiir says the government can explore other options only if the rebels refuse to negotiate.
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