Ugandan rebels: 'We are going to talk peace'

The deputy commander of Uganda’s notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels said on Wednesday the group was serious about peace talks but wanted international warrants scrapped to aid the process.

Vincent Otti first told reporters that lifting the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictments on top LRA leaders was a pre-condition to a full peace agreement, but then suggested a deal could in fact be signed before that.

“Lifting the indictments of the ICC is the first condition, because without that one we cannot go back home, because it might be a trap,” he said at a camp where LRA rebels are gathering under a truce.

However, he then added to reporters: “We are going to talk peace, we are going to sign [a comprehensive peace deal], then wait for the indictments to be taken off.”

Replying to a question about speculation on the whereabouts of LRA leader Joseph Kony, Otti replied: “We are here now, not exactly here but 500m away.”

Kony and Otti’s full transfer to the camp would be crucial to negotiations seen as the best chance for peace in northern Uganda, ravaged by a two-decade insurgency that has killed tens of thousands and uprooted nearly two million.

Under the truce, the LRA had to be in two camps by Tuesday, but President Yoweri Museveni’s government has indicated that deadline has been extended.—Reuters

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