Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have agreed with the government at the current peace talks in Juba to negotiate on the rest of the agenda without the assigned mediator. This follows concerns that the peace negotiations between the government and the LRA were taking longer than expected. Observers have hailed the move saying it’s a significant boost to the peace talks
Kirunda Kivajinja is Uganda’s minister of information. He talked about the latest development at the current peace talks in Juba.
“There is an overwhelming anxiety at least to end the negotiation at the earliest possible time, and as far as I’m concerned. You know when we went to the negotiation, it was a little hard to establish confidence and agree on the points on which to negotiate and reach agreement,” he said.
Kivajinja continued, “So they adopted a four point agenda and the first was the most difficult and the one which took a lot of time. After that the delegation retired for further consultations and further progress of the process and we expect that the next item would not be as tough s the first one whilst the last two are normal routines. Because we call the last one deployment and then disarmament and other things, ” Kivajinja noted.
He said the government expects negotiations at the juba peace to rapidly pick up.
“We expect an acceleration of talks in the last agenda. So now they are on the second agenda and I’m sure they are adopting new methods so that they would move to forward and conclude the peace deal,” He said.
Kivajinja said he would not go into details of the current peace talks but that the government’s negotiating team has been instructed to find peace with the rebels.
“I cannot give you exactly what went on in the negotiating room. But our delegation went back with the instruction that they must be able to negotiate and reach an agreement with the rebels on the second point on the agenda as early as possible,” he said.
Kivajinja said the new agreement for both parties to negotiate without the mediator is a significant achievement.
“That is very important, which means that confidence is already being developed that we can even talk without a mediator. I think that is a very good development for the current peace talks,” he said.
Kivajinja said the rebels are now realizing that the government is serious about finding a lasting peace.
“You know Vincent Otti one time left the bush and came and stayed with us for sometime and then went back. So I think now they are beginning to know that we are serious and we don’t intend to trick them,” he said.
Kivajinja said after the rebels sign the peace deal, the government would intervene and use the local system of trial instead of the indictment by the international criminals court.
“As far as we are concerned, we have got a firm position on that. We said well, the only way we can be of assistance is if we sign the peace agreement and then we subject them to our traditional methods of law system,” Kivajinja said.