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UN envoy to begin talks on northern Uganda peace process

UN envoy to begin talks on northern Uganda peace process

The United Nations envoy for the peace process between the Ugandan Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has arrived in Kampala to begin a series of discussions aimed at resolving the rebel group’s long-running conflict with national forces in the northern part of the country.

Joaquim Alberto Chissano, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the LRA-affected areas and former Mozambican president, has been facilitating the peace process between the two sides, which signed a ceasefire last year to end nearly two decades of fighting.

Despite the ceasefire, disputes between the two sides have given rise to concern and many LRA members have been hiding out in southern Sudan or the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

An official visit by a LRA delegation to Kampala last month which led to further consultations between the parties has led to the hope that full talks between the parties can resume by the end of this month or in early January to conclude a comprehensive peace accord to formally end the conflict.

Mr. Chissano is working with the mediation process led by the Government of Southern Sudan, and supported by the DRC, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.

During his current consultations Mr. Chissano plans to meet with heads of State in the Ugandan capital, as well as in the DRC and Rwanda before travelling to Juba for talks with the mediation team, and then on to meetings with the LRA leadership and civil society representatives, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters.

He is expected to be in the region until 18 December.