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Ugandan Rebel Leader Says He is Not Guilty of War Crimes

Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony has given a rare interview in which he said he is not guilty of war crimes.

Speaking to Sam Farmar, an independent journalist working for British media, Kony also confirmed he wants peace talks to end his group's 20-year war against the Ugandan government.

Kony's rebel Lord's Resistance Army is accused of kidnapping, mutilating, and killing thousands of civilians in northern Uganda.

In the interview, Kony said his fighters are not responsible for the atrocities, blaming them on soldiers of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. He also said youths who have joined his group did so voluntarily and were not abducted.

In Kampala Wednesday, Uganda's foreign ministry announced it would send an technical team to southern Sudan to discuss possible peace talks with the rebels.

Officials in southern Sudan have been trying to arrange the talks. The foreign ministry said its team would try to determine whether the rebels' peace overture is genuine.

Kony told the journalist that he is guided by spirits and has been fighting to install a government based on the Ten Commandments.

The interview was conducted at a Kony rebel hideout in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Kony and four of his top aides.

A British newspaper, The Times, and the BBC released the interview on their web sites Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.