Ugandan agreement with rebels brings progress to long conflict says UN envoy

Joaquim Chissano, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the LRA-Affected Areas, informed senior officials at UN Headquarters of the breakthrough, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters today.The agreement signed this morning deals with mechanisms to implement the principles for accountability and reconciliation that both the Government and the LRA – which signed a ceasefire in 2006 to end two decades of fighting in northern Uganda – agreed to in June last year.The accord was reached after Mr. Chissano, a former president of Mozambique, arrived in the region on Friday to help with efforts to find a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict. After arriving in Uganda on Friday, he then continued on to Juba, southern Sudan, for further consultations.Juba is the site of peace talks between the two sides, which are taking place under the mediation of the Government of Southern Sudan. 19 February 2008The United Nations envoy for the peace process between the Ugandan Government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) says a deal signed by the two sides early this morning represents real progress in the continuing negotiations towards ending the conflict.