KAMPALA, 7 March (IRIN) - A member
of parliament in Uganda's northern Gulu district, Norbert Mao, has said
the leader of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony, has
committed himself to a ceasefire.
Mao told IRIN that Kony had called him by satellite phone on Wednesday and made the pledge. He said the two spoke for over an hour.
"For the next three months he [Kony] will not wage any attacks and will concentrate on ordering his forces to observe a ceasefire," Mao told IRIN. The three-month period would allow talks between the government and the LRA to take place, and facilitate the formalisaton of a bilateral ceasefire, Kony reportedly said.
Meanwhile, two LRA rebels were killed yesterday by Ugandan soldiers in Lalogi sub-county in Gulu district.
"The rebels came and said they were hungry and wanted some food and were not going to fight or kill anyone because they were observing a ceasefire," said local councillor Stephen Okello. "However, soon after they left the UPDF [Uganda People's Defence Force] attacked them and hit at them, killing two of the rebels and injuring others."
On Tuesday, the rebels held a rally at Paibona in Aswa County in Gulu to assure local residents that they were observing the ceasefire, he added.
[This Item is Delivered to the "Africa-English" Service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: Irin@ocha.unon.org or Web: http://www.irinnews.org . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Reposting by commercial sites requires written IRIN permission.]
Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2003