Uganda: Rebels fail to meet gov't peace team

KAMPALA, 13 March (IRIN) - Rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group failed on Wednesday evening to attend a planned meeting with the government peace team, led by Salim Saleh, saying it was too late and that they could not identify each other in the dark.
A member of the peace team and MP for Pader district, Santa Okot, told IRIN that a driver had been sent to an arranged meeting point, but he returned with a message that it was not possible for the meeting to take place. The rebels had suggested another meeting on Thursday, she added.

Meanwhile, the peace team convened a closed-door meeting on Thursday to discuss different strategies to a resolution of the conflict. It appointed MP Betty Aketch, a minister of state in charge of higher education, as the group's spokeswoman. Aketch told IRIN that it was too early to discuss what other progress had been made.

On Wednesday, Salim Saleh said on a Kampala based radio station, Monitor FM, that "we are going to meet the LRA rebels and we are going to negotiate peace and resettlement with them so that they can give the people of Acholi peace".

"I can assure you we shall use all means to meet the rebels. This is a limited initiative [a 5-day truce announced by President Museveni] and therefore, we have to take advantage of it," he added.


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