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Uganda Stresses Cease-Fire as Part of Final Peace Deal

Ugandan officials are welcoming a call for peace from rebel leader Joseph Kony, but stress they will only sign a cease-fire as part of a final peace deal.

Government spokesman Robert Kabushenga told reporters Wednesday that Uganda sees Kony's statements as a positive development.

Speaking at his first news conference Tuesday, Kony said he is commited to peace talks due to resume in southern Sudan Monday. He also called for a truce and denied commiting any war crimes.

Kony's group, the Lord's Resistance Army, is accused of killing, kidnapping or mutilating thousands of civilians during a 20-year war against the Ugandan government.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has offered amnesty to the rebel leader and his top aides, if they disarm.

However, Kony is still wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crimes charges.

Human Rights Watch has criticized the Ugandan amnesty offer, saying rebels should not be exempt from the alleged crimes.

Kony and his aides have been hiding at bases in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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