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South Sudan Organizing Ugandan Peace Talks

Southern Sudanese officials say they are organizing peace talks between the Ugandan government and Uganda's shadowy Lord's Resistance Army rebel group.

The president of southern Sudan's semi-autonomous government, Salva Kiir, told reporters Thursday an LRA delegation is in the regional capital, Juba.

He said a Ugandan government delegation is expected to join them, and the peace talks could start within a matter of days or hours.

Southern Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar met recently with LRA leader Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Last month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he would guarantee Kony's safety if the rebel group stopped fighting by July.

Members of the LRA have taken refuge in southern Sudan, where Mr. Kiir said today they have been raping women, looting and killing.

The group is known for kidnapping thousands of children and turning them into fighters and sex slaves.

The LRA's 20-year war against the Ugandan government has forced some 1.6 million people in northern Uganda to flee their homes.

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