Uganda peace process moved closer to its end on Saturday when both government and rebel of the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement (LRA/M) signed the fourth landmark truce to end hostilities.
Under the mediation of Southern Sudan Vice President Dr Reik Macar, Uganda government signed a detailed ceasefire agreement spelling out the procedures of locations of its implementations.
The agreement will, however, come in effect 24 hours after the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement by end of this February to end a 21-year long war that has claimed an estimated half a million lives in the East African country’s northern region.
Both parties now move to discuss the demobilisation, disarmament, and reintegrat ion (DDR) of rebel fighters, estimated to be about 10,000, according LRA leader J oseph Kony.
Uganda’s army spokesman, Captain Paddy Ankunda, who issued the latest agreement, said: “Considering the pace at which crucial issues are being solved and agreed , it likely the peace process will come to end by end of this month.”
Captain Ankunda explained: “The ceasefire basically means that both parties stop all sorts of hostilities like hostile propaganda and attacks. “It also requires the LRA to start preparing for the DDR by assembling in design ated areas in southern Sudan for its implementation under the watchful eye of in t ernational observers. “Our focus as (Uganda’s army) is to see that they really assemble in the assembl y areas, because it is the only way to confirm they are respecting what we agreed on.”
The over one-and-a-half years talks are aimed at finding a just, peaceful and la sting solution to one of Africa’s longest conflicts characterized by wanton killings, rape, sex slavery and abduction of children.
Earlier in this week both parties signed the second landmark truce spelling out how to promote accountability and reconciliation aimed at restoring harmony and t ranquility within the affected communities.