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LRA Rebels to Hold News Conference Today

The rebel lord’s resistance army (LRA) of Uganda will today hold a news conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to express their objection to a call by south Sudan president Salva Kiir for “mass action” against the rebels. Kiir recently threatened to fight the LRA if the rebels continue to terrorize the people of Sudan.

Obonyo Olweny is the spokesman for the LRA. He said Kiir has breached the stalled Uganda peace talks with his statement.

“This is a very unfortunate statement by the president of Southern Sudan because we are in southern Sudan by invitation of the government of southern Sudan, and because of the cessation of hostilities we have reached with the government of Uganda. Now that the government of southern Sudan has declared hostile action against us, it means that they have breached the agreement, which has been in place,” he said.

Olweny denied Vice President Kiir’s accusation that the rebels have been terrorizing the people of Sudan.

“I can categorically state that the LRA has not been attacking anybody in southern Sudan. The LRA is not at war with the people or government of southern Sudan. It is the failure of southern Sudan to broker the peace process and to guarantee the protection of the LRA as they try to assemble at the Owinyi-ki-Bul area,” Olweny noted.

He said the LRA had made a request to the Kenyan government to intervene in the peace talks as the rebels have lost confidence in the neutrality of the mediator.

“We have contacted the President of the republic of Kenya Mwai Kibakai to halt the peace process. We also met the new UN special envoy for northern Uganda Ex-President Joaquim Chissano and explained the problem to him and he appreciated the problem and also made the same request… the government of South Africa has also likewise been contacted. So they are very much aware of the request of the LRA to halt the peace talks,” Olweny said.

He said the LRA believes that south Sudan as the mediator is biased towards the rebels.

“We have lost faith with Dr. Riek Machar’s mediation. It is not so much of Riek Machar as a person, but because of his position as the vice president in the government of southern Sudan. This is because all along Sudan has been with the government of Uganda and it has allowed Ugandan troops to be stationed there in southern Sudan,” he said.

Olweny said the LRA also has documents, which prove that the mediator is working with the International Criminals Court (ICC) over the indictment of the rebel leadership.

“We have gotten hold of a document which states that the government of southern Sudan is participating with the ICC to peacefully disable the LRA before implementing the ICC warrant of arrest. Therefore, this really seriously compromises the position of the government of southern Sudan as a broker of the peace process… that is why we called upon Kenya and South Africa to intervene,” he said.