After failure to reach peace deal in northern Uganda, UN envoy tries fresh tack

14 April 2008

The United Nations envoy heading efforts to end the conflict that has ravaged northern Uganda for two decades will contact the key parties to assess the way forward after the Government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) failed last week to sign a permanent peace agreement, a UN spokesperson said today.

Joaquim Chissano, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the LRA-Affected Areas, will try to see what can be done now to support the peace process, spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters.

“We were obviously expecting a different outcome,” she said, adding that the UN has yet to make a full assessment of the situation. “In the best of cases, this will be only a temporary setback to the process, but we cannot say at this point.”

Ugandan Government forces have been fighting the LRA in the north of the country since the mid-1980s and during the conflict the rebel group has become notorious for its human rights abuses.

A series of accords struck by the two sides earlier this year raised hopes that they could reach a permanent, wide-ranging agreement ending the conflict, and last week LRA leaders were expected to emerge and sign a deal mediated by the Government of Southern Sudan. But that did not happen.


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