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World Police Body Seeks Top Rebels in Northern Uganda

The global police body Interpol has issued arrest warrants for several people believed to be top rebels operating in northern Uganda.

The arrest warrants apply to five people said to be leading the notorious rebel group known as the Lord's Resistance Army which has been brutalizing northern Ugandans for about two decades.

The movement is widely believed to be led by Joseph Kony. Interpol and the International Criminal Court, or ICC is seeking him and four others on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, abduction, rape and child conscription.

Uganda's senior presidential advisor John Nagenda tells VOA his government is pleased by Interpol's involvement in the case.

"Uganda is sincerely interested in ending this Kony war," he said. "We have even gone as far as getting people to try and talk to Kony. He never comes to the table. He promises he'll turn up, [but] he never turns up."

The rebels reportedly have said they are ready for peace talks between them and the Ugandan government.

Lord's Resistance Army bases are also said to be located in southern Sudan and, recently, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last year, the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants against Kony and several others.

The warrants are the first to be issued by the International Criminal Court, set up several years ago to try individuals for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Since the late 1980s, the Lord's Resistance Army is commonly believed to be responsible for abducting, mutilating, torturing, raping and killing local residents for reasons that are unclear.

More than 1.5 million people across the north have moved into camps guarded by the army.

Human Rights Watch last year issued a report condemning the rebel brutality but also calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate certain Ugandan army soldiers, who the group says have committed human rights abuses.

According to the report, government soldiers rape, arbitrarily detain, beat, and kill people living in camps designed to protect residents against the rebels