Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony is meeting tribal elders before signing a deal to end Uganda’s 20-year rebellion. The chief mediator, Riek Machar, is waiting for the LRA leader close to the Congolese border. But Mr Kony has failed to show up at previous signing ceremonies, fearing for his safety.

rebel-nowEarlier, Uganda’s government said it would ask for arrest warrants for Mr Kony to be lifted if he signed. But Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa made it clear that Mr Kony must sign the deal first before the issue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was addressed.

“We were only prepared to talk to the ICC about an alternative method of resolving that dispute, and also of justice in the country, only if peace is going to come to the people of northern Uganda,” he told the BBC’s World Today programme.

He added that as far as the government was concerned Mr Kony was the only serious obstacle to a final peace agreement being signed by the two sides. “Our people are ready to sign any time, but Kony is the one who has been eluding us,” he said.

But Joachim Chissano, Mozambique’s former president, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that he understood Mr Kony was heading to the signing ceremony in Ri Kwangba in South Sudan from his jungle hideout in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other signatories from northern Uganda were also on their way to Ri Kwangba, just north of Sudan’s border with DR Congo.



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