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Government delegation meets lra rebels


September 26, 2005

Yesterday delegates from the Congolese government and some representatives of the Ugandan rebel group of the Lord's resistance Army (LRA) met for the first time. The rebels have moved to the northeast of the Democratic republic of Congo, where they have found refuge after fleeing from South Sudan, chased by regular army units form Uganda. Leading the Kinshasa delegation, accompanied by the UN mission in Congo, MONUC, was the commander of the military area of Kisangani, general Padiri, who reiterated to the 300-400 rUgandan rebels prior to any negotiation that they should have put down their weapons. According to declarations released to local media, the delegation that went to Aba yesterday (some 800 km from Kisangani) was entrusted by the government to negotiate with the rebels, which seem to have few thoughts of letting go of arms for the time being. Officially, however, the Congolese minister of Defense Adolphe Onusumba appears to be upholding a more rigid attitude and reiterated his threat of a forced disarmament by the LRA, should these decide hand over their weapons or leave the country. The presence of the LRA rebels, known for their ferocity and attacks against civilians in northern Uganda, caused great concern among the population of the district, which abandoned their homes in the area of Losa (where Ugandans have taken refuge). According to the information that was collected, the militiamen are accompanied by their wives and children and have asked for food threatening raids and violence in case this was not provided. This is the LRA's first ever sortie' in Congo

@Congoplanet |

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