Ugandan rebel group given one week to assemble in southern Sudan

KAMPALA, May 8, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Uganda's rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has been given one week to leave all its hide-outs and assemble in Ri-Kwangba in southern Sudan.

Henry Okello Oryem, the deputy head of the government delegation negotiating a peace deal with the LRA in Juba, southern Sudan, told the press here on Tuesday that the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army ( SPLA) have mapped out the routes for the rebels.

Two routes have been designed for the LRA to follow and assemble in Ri-Kwangba within seven days from the day the Peace Talks Mediator communicates to them," said Oryem while reading a communique by the UPDF and the SPLA.

Oryem said after the lapse of the seven days, any armed group that is outside Ri-Kwangba will be dealt with by the UPDF and SPLA.

"Any armed group outside Ri-Kwangba after the stated period will be considered a source of insecurity and will be considered not party to the truce agreement," Oryem said.

Last month the LRA and the government renewed the truce agreement they signed last August and expired in February this year.

In the renewed agreement the parties settled that the LRA fighters assemble in one area instead of two areas in southern Sudan.

The LRA have been fighting the Ugandan government for the last twenty years in a rebellion that has left tens of thousands of people dead and over 1.4 million people homeless in the northern region.

The government and the rebel group, under the mediation of the government of southern Sudan, have been negotiating a peace deal since July last year, seen as a chance to end the suffering of the people in northern Uganda.