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LRA Defectors Request President Museveni’s Pardon

About 300 rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and their family members have reportedly defected and are negotiating their return to Uganda with the UN peacekeeping force in Congo, also known as Monuc.

Ugandan media said the rebels were expected to assemble in the northeastern DR Congo town of Bunia.

UN sources said they were ready to receive the group. However, two of the rebel leaders said they will not leave their from undisclosed location until they see a pardon from President Yoweri Museveni.

Major Felix Kulayigye is Uganda’s Defense and Military spokesman. For confirmation on the defections, Nightline’s Akwei Thompson reached him by phone in the capital Kampala.

Kulayigye said the Ugandan government was aware of the defections but was not yet privy to the negotiations.

“What we know is that a group of about thirty first reported to Monuc and informed Monuc that their colleagues were scattered in the bushes of DRC and wished to surrender,” he added.

Asked whether there were any direct talks between the Ugandan government and Monuc, the military spokesman said: “There is no need for talks. Our law is very clear. Who ever denounces the rebellion is a candidate for amnesty.”