African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Ugandan rebel leader sets conditions for signing final peace agreement

Posted by African Press International on August 23, 2008

The chief negotiator of the Ugandan rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA), David Matsanga on Saturday said that the LRA leader, Joseph Kony will not sign a final peace agreement with the Ugandan government until the United Nations International Criminal Court (ICC) drops the arrest warrant it issued in 2005.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with APA in Nairobi on Saturday, Matsanga said that even though they were fully committed to concluding the final peace process, but the LRA cannot sign the peace agreement without the dropping of the ICC arrest warrants first, saying that to do so would jeopardize the peace process.

Kony is ready and will agree to a final peace agreement with the Ugandan government provided that the international arrest warrants are dropped, he said, disclosing that already the LRA leader has agreed to appear at a negotiation ceremony on Sunday in Southern Sudan, subject to the conditions that are yet to be addressed.

Matsanga added that he will leave Nairobi for Southern Sudan on Sunday where he was going to meet the negotiators led by South Sudan Vice President, Dr. Reik Machar and protest over the arrest warrants before talks between the government and the LRA can resume for the final peace agreement to be reached and signed.

In October 2005, the ICC issued its first arrest warrants for Kony and four of his top LRA commanders accused of crimes against humanity.

Kony failed to turn up on April 10 this year when the world expected him to sign the final peace agreement that would end the war that has greatly affected people in northern Uganda.

The 22 years of war in northern Uganda is rated to be among the most brutal and long running civil wars in Africa. It has displaced nearly two million people and caused the death of tens of thousands in the region.

The LRA claims that it is fighting for the rights of the marginalized people of the north-eastern part of the country.



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