Uganda

Uganda: Museveni to discuss ceasefire with peace team

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KAMPALA, 21 March (IRIN) - President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda will decide on Saturday whether to extend the ceasefire in two locations in Pader district, in the north of the country, to allow for peace talks with the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group.
The presidential press secretary, Mary Okurut, told IRIN he would hold discussions on Saturday with the presidential peace team, led by his brother Salim Saleh, in Gulu. "They are all expected to meet tomorrow to discuss whether to extend the days for talks with the rebels or not," she said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Ugandan People's Defence Force (UPDF), Shaban Bantariza, told IRIN he presumed the ceasefire, which was extended for five days last Sunday, was still in force in Wipolo and Koyo Lalogi. "We assume it's continuing," he said, adding that the UPDF had not redeployed in the two areas.

In the rest of northern Uganda, he said it was "business as usual" for the LRA, with several reports of attacks and ambushes in the last few days.

Betty Aketch, a spokeswoman for the government peace team, said they were still trying to mobilise the rebel group. "Some of our peace team members are on the ground and we hope something new should come up this weekend," she said.

Last week the Ugandan parliament passed a motion to extend the five-day ceasefire to allow negotiations to begin. Two attempted meetings with the LRA have failed to take place.

[ENDS]

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