Uganda signs ceasefire with Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels

Other News Materials 23 February 2008 22:05 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The Ugandan government on Saturday signed a "permanent" ceasefire agreement with Lords Resistance Army (LRA) negotiators as the two sides moved closer to a final agreement.

Military officials in Kampala, who are monitoring the talks in Juba, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Saturday that the truce prohibits any recruitment or re-armament by the LRA.

"This is a permament ceasefire agreement that will come into effect when the final peace agreement is signed. We have been negotiating in a situation without a permanent ceasefire. The LRA is required to assemble in the named places as per agreement," Uganda's army spokesman, Captain Paddy Ankunda told dpa.

The LRA began fighting the government in Kampala 20 years ago, but instead the rebels unleashed terror on civilians, killing, maiming and abducting thousands.

After two failed attempts at peace, the two sides finally began serious talks under the mediation of southern Sudan's leaders. The deal signed Saturday is one of several signed since the peace talks began in mid 2006.

The two sides recently signed an agreement under which LRA leaders, who were indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2005 for war crimes, would be tried in a special section of the Ugandan High Court.

The remaining item on the draft peace talks agenda is an agreement on how the rebels should demobilise and disarm. This would be followed by a final peace agreement before the end of next week.