Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony has indicated for the first time that he killed his deputy, Vincent Otti.

Kony, head of the Lord's Resistance Army, told a Ugandan radio station, Mega FM, late Tuesday that he "took action" against Otti, without specifying the action.

In a further hint, he said Otti's fate is an internal matter, adding that no one would have a say if Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni killed one of his soldiers.

The radio station said Kony spoke via satellite phone from his hideout in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ugandan media and LRA defectors have said Kony killed Otti in October. The rebels have never officially confirmed those reports.

Separately, South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar said Wednesday he has confirmation Kony killed Otti. Machar is mediating peace talks between the rebels and the Ugandan government.

Otti was a key supporter of the LRA's participation in the peace talks that began last year in Juba, south Sudan's regional capital. He has not been heard from in nearly four months.

Meanwhile, LRA officials say the head of the rebels' negotiating team, Martin Ojul, has been replaced by David Masonga. Masonga says Ojul is accused of making money from the peace process.

Both Kony and Otti are wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges related to alleged LRA atrocities in northern Uganda. Twenty years of conflict has killed tens of thousands of people in the region and at one time displaced more than 1.5 million.

Many of those people have returned to their homes in recent months as the conflict subsided.

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