Uganda + 1 more

Uganda's northern rebels declare ceasefire

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KAMPALA (Reuters) - The rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has declared a ceasefire in northern Uganda raising hopes that a 17-year insurgency could finally come to an end, a peace mediator said on Monday.

Retired Bishop McLeod Ochola, part of a team mediating between the government and the LRA, said rebel leader Joseph Kony made contact on Saturday and pledged not to ambush vehicles, abduct people or attack military positions from March 1.

"The fact that they have declared a ceasefire is a good enough start," Ochola told Reuters. "We are hopeful that this is a significant breakthrough in the search for peace in our troubled land."

The LRA, feared for cutting off the limbs and lips of villagers, has abducted thousands of children to use as soldiers and sex slaves in its war to overthrow the government.

The government launched "Operation Iron Fist" against the LRA in March, and said late last year that the rebels were on the verge of defeat.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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