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Ugandan leaders in CAR for LRA talks

December 19, 2013 (KAMPALA) – Ten Ugandan leaders are currently on a confidence-building visit to the Central Africa Republic (CAR) to encourage rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to surrender.

The team comprises of political, cultural and religious leaders - all from northern Uganda, the region which bore the brunt for the two-decade-long conflict between the LRA and the Ugandan government.

Anti-LRA advocacy group Invisible Children, said in a statement Wednesday that it believes that while some LRA may want to surrender, they are reluctant due to fears.

“So hearing that leaders in northern Uganda are there, would reassure them to come out”, the group said.

Invisible children also said the visit is meant to show LRA-affected communities in CAR that the rebel group was not deliberately sent to their country from Uganda.

“We hope this visit will demystify such false beliefs and reassure the affected communities that the LRA wasn’t sent to their countries by Ugandans. It’s also part of our continuous engagement until the LRA crisis is finally resolved”, said the group, which provided transportation for the Ugandan leaders.

The LRA fled Uganda in 2006 after coming under intense pressure from the Uganda military.

The brutal rebel group has since gone on to cause havoc in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and CAR and is viewed as a security threat throughout the entire Great Lakes region.

Its top leaders, including Joseph Kony, have been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

(ST)