UN Security Council must act to protect civilians in northern Uganda as conflict kills 1,000 people every week

Published: 22 November 2005

The UN Security Council must pass a resolution to protect innocent people in northern Uganda, said leading international aid agencies today. The call comes on the day that a mission from the UN Security Council arrives in Uganda to meet President Museveni.

The UN Security Council must pass a resolution to protect innocent people in northern Uganda, said leading international aid agencies today. The call comes on the day that a mission from the UN Security Council arrives in Uganda to meet President Museveni.

Almost 20 years of war in northern Uganda have seen nearly two million people driven from their homes and over 25,000 children kidnapped and forced to fight for the rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army. Yet the UN Security Council has never passed a resolution on northern Uganda.

A coalition of over 50 aid agencies including Care International, Oxfam and Save the Children in Uganda (Civil Society Organizations for Peace in Northern Uganda) has expressed high hopes that the UN Security Council will finally act to protect innocent people in northern Uganda.

"This is the world's worst case of mass child abuse. Every week, 20 children are kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army and forced to fight. If it was happening in Europe, the UN Security Council would have acted years ago. Instead, the 20-year silence of the Security Council has condemned thousands to death," said Emma Naylor, Oxfam's Country Program Manager for Uganda.

Two weeks ago, many aid agencies, including Oxfam, were forced to restrict their work in northern Uganda following three LRA attacks, which left two aid workers dead and several others seriously injured. Agencies fear that death rates in the camps for internally displaced people will start to rise because they cannot deliver vital supplies such as food, water and medicines.

"The UN Security Council must take firm action and challenge the Ugandan government to protect its own people. If the government cannot do this, then the Security Council must agree a resolution which commits the international community to protecting the millions suffering in sub-Saharan Africa's longest-running war," said John Reinstein, Deputy Director of Save the Children in Uganda.

On Monday, the EU made a politically-binding commitment to address the war in northern Uganda. The UN Security Council must now show their commitment to the issue, said campaigners.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:
Clare Rudebeck, Oxfam in the UK +44 (0) 1865 47 2530 or +44 (0) 7769 887 139
Emma Naylor, Oxfam in Uganda +256 (0) 77 710 017
Uwe Korus, CARE International in Uganda + 256 (0) 77 610 582
John Reinstein, Save the Children in Uganda + 256 (0) 77 750 6307