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Ugandan women to take peace torch to Juba

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Nov 8, 2006 (KAMPALA) — Ugandan women groups will take the Women’s Peace Torch to begin a five-day solidarity journey to the southern Sudan capital of Juba where the Ugandan government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) are negotiating a peace deal under the mediation of the southern Sudan authorities.

Brought to Uganda by women leaders from Kenya and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), a support of the program, the torch was lit and presented to Uganda’s State Minister for Gender Lukia Nakadama and entrusted to the parliament after a march through the streets of the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Members of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association and the Civil Society Women’s Peace Coalition will be led by Uganda Women’s Network on a peace caravan undertaking the trek to Juba.

According to a UNIFEM’s statement, the coalition has consulted women from the war-torn northern Uganda and collected views on the ongoing peace process, which will be used to develop a women’s position paper on the Juba peace negotiations.

The peace caravan, aimed at showing solidarity for peace under the theme, "Women of Uganda Want Peace and Peace Needs Women", will pitch camps for a day in Kitgum with members of all the communities where it passed before proceeding to Juba to join the talks.

The torch arrived in Kampala on October 27 as a demonstration for regional and global solidarity for peace in Uganda.

The Juba talks, which started on July 14, are seen as the best chance to end the LRA’s 20 year insurgency that has left tens of thousands of people dead and over 1.4 million others homeless in northern Uganda.

(Xinhua)

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