Sun, Nov 04, 2007 - Page 6 News List

UN's Ban praises Uganda, LRA for efforts at peace

FIRST VISIT The chief of the UN also called for 'crucial support' from other countries after rebels made an historic visit to the capital city

AP , UNITED NATIONS

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the first visit to Kampala, Uganda's capital, by delegates from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) will create the momentum needed to settle the brutal conflict between the government and the notorious rebel group.

``He commends the government of Uganda and the LRA leadership for their continued commitment to the peace process,'' UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said Friday.

Ban also called on international and regional actors who have been assisting the peace process ``to continue their crucial support until an acceptable solution is found for this long-lasting conflict.''

The LRA is made up of the remnants of a rebellion that began after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni took power in 1986.

The rebels are notorious for cutting off the tongues and lips of civilians and abducting thousands of children, turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into fighters.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for the top five leaders of the rebel group for war crimes, but Museveni's government has promised not to turn them over if they sign a peace deal.

None of those named in the international warrant came to Kampala on Thursday.

The wanted leaders were believed to be hiding out in a forest in eastern Congo.

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