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Secretary-General sends report on Uganda peace talks to Security Council

9 July 2008 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent a report from the chief mediator between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels to the Security Council on efforts to resolve their long-running conflict.

The report – from Lt. General Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, who is the Vice-President of the Government of Southern Sudan – calls for the LRA to re-engage with the peace talks, which began in July 2006, by establishing regular and credible communication with the mediation team as well as with the Government of Uganda.

A series of accords struck by the rebels and the Government earlier this year raised hopes that they could reach a permanent, wide-ranging agreement ending the conflict, but in April LRA leader Joseph Kony failed to sign a comprehensive deal mediated by the Government of Southern Sudan that his representatives had earlier initialled.

The chief mediator states that immediately implementing certain aspects of the agreement would consolidate peace in Northern Uganda and in parts of Southern Sudan, as well as improve the prospects of stabilizing other affected areas.

“Our efforts in this direction would demonstrate a viable peaceful alternative to violence as a means of ending this conflict,” he reports. “”Although the path ahead is challenging, we believe that ending this conflict commands and deserves the full commitment of everyone.”

The LRA, which has fought a civil war with the Ugandan Government since the mid-1980s, became notorious during the conflict for abducting as many as 25,000 children and using them as fighters and porters.

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