7 September 2006

Uganda: MPs Back Peace Talks

Kampala — PARLIAMENT yesterday passed a motion backing the ongoing peace talks between the Government and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Juba.

The motion moved by Stephen Wasike Mugeni (Samia Bugwe North) and seconded by Simon Ross Euku (Kalaki) received overwhelming support from the government and opposition MPs.

During the debate, several MPs urged the government to talk to the International Criminal Court to drop charges against the indicted LRA leaders. They also urged stakeholders to avoid making statements that can damage the peace process.

Parliament commended the Government for its resolve to participate in the peace talks and urged it to continue being more open-hearted and reconciliatory with the peace process to its final logical conclusion.

The House paid glowing tribute to the government and the people of Southern Sudan. They singled out the President, Salva Kiir, and his vice-President, Dr. Riek Machar, for their efforts to bring peace to the north.

Parliament also called upon LRA leader Joseph Kony and second-in-command Vincent Otti to maintain the paths of peace.

Tom Butime (Mwenge north) attacked the former UN Under Secretary General for Children, Olara Otunnu, for saying the government was in collaboration with LRA to commit genocide against the people of northern Uganda.

State minister for defence Ruth Nankabirwa dismissed media reports that the LRA had made a U-turn regarding the peace talks.

She said the LRA were moving to the designated areas and that Pader district was almost free of LRA.

Defence minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga said signing of peace talks deal would be the beginning of a long journey.

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