Calls To Extend Envoy's Ugandan Peace Mandate
Ban Ki-moon calls for extension to mandate of envoy to Ugandan peace process
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for the mandate of his Special Envoy on the conflict between the Ugandan Government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the north of the country to be extended for a year to try to help bring the peace process to a successful conclusion.
In a letter to the Security Council, Mr. Ban said the term of Joaquim Alberto Chissano, his Special Envoy for the LRA-affected areas, should continue through 31 December 2008. He also called for Mr. Chissano's Office to be upgraded from a temporary liaison office to a special political mission.
The Ugandan Government and the LRA, which have been fighting since the mid-1980s, signed a ceasefire last year, leading to hopes of a comprehensive peace accord to formally end the conflict. But disputes between the two sides had dampened hopes and many LRA members have been hiding out in southern Sudan or the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Last month Mr. Ban issued a statement welcoming the recent official visit of a LRA delegation to Kampala, the Ugandan capital, which has led to further consultations between the Government and the rebels.
In his letter to the Council the Secretary-General said the peace process "has been proceeding steadily and remains on track under the facilitation efforts" of Mr. Chissano, as well as the mediation of the Government of Southern Sudan and the support of the DRC, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.
He said he anticipates that the two sides will resume full talks by the end of this month or in early January.