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SPLM may mediate LRA/govt peace talks

11/10/2005 8:29pm

By Charles Opolot
Sudan People’s liberation Army (SPLM) leaders in Juba have offered to mediate between Joseph Kony’s Lord’s resistance Army (LRA) rebels and the Uganda government on condition that the rebels surrender to the SPLA.

SPLM deputy vice-chairman and the southern Sudan acting president, Riyak Machar, said this at the last funeral rites of John Garang on Wednesday.

He said Kony and his rebels had three options to take within three months.

Garang, who was described as a hero and champion of peace, died in a Ugandan presidential helicopter accident on July 31, while travelling from Uganda to New Site in southern Sudan.

Machar who represented Salva Kiir, said the first option available to the LRA was to surrender to the SPLA and accept to negotiate with the Uganda government under the chairmanship of SPLA.

The second was for the rebels to vacate Sudan and continue fighting for their cause inside Uganda. The last option is for LRA to be flushed out of southern Sudan by force, an ultimatum that would be implemented in the next two months.

“Kiir has notified the LRA leadership about three options. The offer is for three months starting from October. If the rebels fail to respond, we shall have no option but to use maximum force to flush them out,” said Machar.

Hundreds of sympathises and gun-wielding SPLA fighters kept chanting “We shall never surrender.”

Rebecca Nyadeng, Gar-ang’s widow, appealed to the Sudanese to unite irrespective of tribe and religion in order to realise the vision of their late father.

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