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Africa
Uganda rebels threaten renewed war
Uganda says it will attack the rebels if they try to leave southern Sudan.
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2007 01:52 GMT
 Joseph Kony, left, head of the LRA, is wanted by the International Criminal Court [AFP]

Leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have said they want to leave southern Sudan - where they have assembled for peacetalks - and return to Uganda.
 
Monday's statement comes after the LRA's ended peace talks with Uganda on Friday.
 
If the LRA returns to Uganda, it would mark the start of a new round of civil war in the African country.
"We are unwelcome in Sudan so they have to go back to Uganda," LRA spokesman Obonyo Olweny told Reuters by telephone from Nairobi on Monday.
 
"We foresee that is the only logical option.
 
The Ugandan army said they would attack the LRA if they tried to cross back into Uganda.
"We shall hit them," Major Felix Kulayigye, a Ugandan army spokesman, said.
 
"Any attempt to come back to northern Uganda would be taken as a resumption of war."
 
Fears of renewed war
 
Aid agencies fear the LRA - one of Africa's most feared rebel groups - could wreak havoc on a Ugandan population traumatised by war if they went back to Uganda.
 
LRA fighters are notorious for killing civilians, mutilating victims and abducting children.
 
A landmark truce signed in August had raised hopes of an end to a two-decade civil war that has killed tens of thousands and displaced 1.7 million.
 
The truce renewed in November gave the rebels until the end of January to gather in two places in southern Sudan - on the borders of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near LRA leaders' jungle hideouts.
 
The LRA's comments came days after they said they would not resume talks in the south Sudanese capital, Juba, because of concerns for their security after Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, vowed to "get rid of the LRA from Sudan".
 
Faltering peace process
 
The stop-start peace process has faltered in recent months, with both sides accusing each other of violations and the LRA accusing mediators in south Sudan's government of failing to stop the Ugandan army attacking them in Sudan.
 
LRA spokesman Olweny said the group east of the Nile who were supposed to meet near the Uganda border would probably go back to Uganda.
 
"They know they can't stop us going back. If necessary we shall use our firepower," Olweny said.
 
But he added the LRA high command had not yet issued a final order sending the fighters back.
 
LRA commanders were unavailable for comment.
 
Some observers believe that the LRA's latest statements are designed to increase pressure on the International Criminal Court to drop war-crimes charges against them.
Source:
Agencies
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