Peace talks aimed at ending the war between the Ugandan government and the rebel Lords Resistance Army adjourned for a week, after making what a mediator called “substantial progress.” The Ugandan government has recruited Nora Oting, Joseph Kony’s mother, and other relatives to help try to end the 20-year war. She is being escorted to an LRA camp in the northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, to see her son for the first time in many years. Among those accompanying Lt. General Riek Machar, the vice president of the regional government of southern Sudan. Machar is hosting the adjourned talks. Obonyo Olweny, the spokesman for the rebel delegation, tells VOA that his group “commends Kampala for facilitating the visit and welcomes the move as a gesture which could help bring about a sense of confidence building measure for Kony, who remains reluctant to attend the talks in Juba.” He has refused to attend the talks personally, citing security concerns. But, Mr. Olweny warns “the government not to use the visit as a popularity gimmick to gain some political mirage but to make sure that the causes of the conflict are addressed comprehensively.”
Mr. Olweny says, “The suspension of the talks is to allow the delegations to go and consult with their leaders on the way forward.” He says each delegation has presented its views and before the break, “we discussed some two important items on the agenda: cessation of hostilities and efforts at finding comprehensive solutions to the conflict.”
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