“Museveni has ordered a seven-day suspension of UPDF (Ugandan People’s Defence Forces) operations in a limited area of Acholi to allow the leadership of (rebel leader Joseph) Kony’s group to meet and confirm they accept his offer to come out of the bush,” presidential press secretary Onapito Ekomoloit said in a statement.
Joseph Kony leads the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an organisation which took up arms in the central African nation in 1988 seeking to overthrow the government and replace it with one based on the biblical Ten Commandments.
Three districts in the Acholi region have all been ravaged by the fighting.
More than 1.5 million Ugandans have been displaced by the conflict with several relief agencies estimating up to 20,000 children have been abducted by rebels to serve as child soldiers or sex slaves.
The truce marks a renewed effort to bring an end to one of the continent’s most brutal and forgotten wars.
President Museveni previously offered the LRA an option of peace talks in August 2002, to which the rebels made a counter offer of a temporary ceasefire.
However, no progress was made.
Mr Ekomoloit told the AFP news agency that the former minister in charge of northern Uganda, Betty Bigombe, had in the past three weeks received “clear indications from Kony’s group that they want to end the conflict.”
“They are under intense pressure from UPDF. A Kony spokesman has said they want to talk peace,” Mr Ekomoloit’s statement read.
But President Museveni’s truce will be limited in its reach, allowing the UPDF to continue its operations against LRA cells elsewhere in Acholi and further into northern Uganda and southern Sudan, “until the government gets an irreversible commitment indicating their intention to end violence vis-à-vis the population and end, once and for all time, the terror campaign.”
The truce will commence from 2:00 am (AEDT) tomorrow.