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Peace talks break down

Article published on the 2008-04-11 Latest update 2008-06-28 09:06 TU

Joseph Kony, Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (Photo : AFP)

Joseph Kony, Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army
(Photo : AFP)

Ugandan officials have left the area where a peace deal to end a 22-year-old conflict with the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) was due to be signed. Earlier, fugitive rebel leader Joseph Kony delayed signing a final deal for the third time. Rebel chief mediator David Matsanga has announced his resignation and the accord looks set to collapse.

The LRA leader, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, was initially supposed to sign the accord on Thursday. But his peace team said he was unhappy with sections of the agreement.

A separate signing ceremony by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni planned for 15 April in the south Sudanese capital Juba is now indefinitely postponed.

"Unless conditions significantly change, the government of Uganda has no plans of signing this extension," Uganda's Internal Affairs minister Ruhakana Rugunda said.

The chief Sudanese mediator announced on Thursday that Kony had requested more time for further consultations before signing the agreement.

Twenty years of fighting have killed tens of thousands of people and displaced two million. The fighting has at times spilled into neighbouring countries, including Sudan, where the LRA has a base, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Kony was hiding out until recently.

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