UN Representative to Peace Talks Heads to Juba

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Joaquim Chissano, the United Nations Secretary General for LRA-Affected Areas, is heading to the Sudan this week to meet the key parties to the Northern Uganda peace talks. This follows the failure of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to sign a permanent peace agreement with the Government of Uganda. UN spokesperson Marie Okabe said in a press statement that Chissano will try to see what can be done now to support the peace process. She said the UN has yet to make a full assessment of the situation and is hoping that this will only a temporary setback to the process. The LRA has waged a bloody guerilla war in the north of the country since the mid-1980s and has become notorious for its human rights abuses. A series of accords struck by the two sides earlier this year raised hopes that they could reach a permanent, wide-ranging agreement ending the conflict, and last week LRA leaders were expected to emerge and sign a deal mediated by the Government of Southern Sudan. But that did not happen.