A Ugandan defense official says the government is open to negotiation with rebels, but she says their use of the media to communicate shows they are not serious.

Deputy Defense Minister Ruth Nankabirwa told reporters Wednesday that rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army have access to telephone contact with government officials but have not chosen to use them.

She was reacting to comments made Tuesday by rebel spokesman Sam Kolo to the BBC that there is no military solution to Uganda's 18-year civil war.

Earlier this year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he would order a cease-fire if the rebels are willing to hold peace talks.

The United Nations has described the situation in northern Uganda as the most neglected humanitarian crisis in the world.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.