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Central African countries becoming impatient with Ugandan rebels – UN envoy

Central African countries becoming impatient with Ugandan rebels – UN envoy

Joaquim Chissano, Special Envoy for the LRA-Affected Areas
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is continuing to commit atrocities in Central Africa, and the countries of the region are growing impatient with the rebel group’s actions and its failure to sign a peace deal ending its long-running conflict with Uganda, a senior United Nations envoy told the Security Council today.

Joaquim Chissano, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the LRA-Affected Areas, briefed the Council on the latest developments in efforts to end the conflict that has ravaged northern Uganda since the mid-1980s.

A series of accords struck by the rebels and the Government earlier this year raised hopes that they could reach a permanent, wide-ranging agreement ending the conflict, but in April LRA leader Joseph Kony failed to sign a deal mediated by the Government of Southern Sudan that his representatives had earlier initialled.

Mr. Chissano said today that Mr. Kony had twice failed to attend signing ceremonies, and countries such as Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR) were growing weary.

The Congolese Government is considering measures to force LRA fighters to leave its territory, particularly amid reports that the rebels are still committing some atrocities against civilians in the DRC, the CAR and Sudan.

But all countries in the region remain willing to continue the peace process, he stressed, noting that they still want the UN to do all it can to bring Mr. Kony to the peace table so that the agreement can be signed and then implemented.

Mr. Chissano said there were no plans to re-negotiate the contents of the various accords reached this year, but some elements may have to be clarified for the sake of the LRA leadership.