MASSACRES IN NORTHERN AND EASTERN UGANDA BY LORD’S RESISTANCE ARMY

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Conference
2005 National Black Members' Conference
Date
19 September 2004
Decision
Carried

Conference note that over the last 18 years, the rebels of Lord Resistance Army (LRA) have been abducting children, torturing and slaughtering innocent people of Northern & Eastern Uganda. The 18 year war against Uganda Government by the LRA has resulted in numerous massacres of the local population and the abduction of up to 20,000 children. The sad thing is that, the Uganda Government is doing very little to stop the war.

The are now over 1.6 million displaced people in Northern and Eastern Uganda as a result of the war and thousands of children forcibly recruited to serve as child soldiers and sex slaves. The displaced people are forced to live in the camps, where they are suffering worsening conditions and food shortages! The abduction of young children, forcing them to become child soldiers and upsurge in violence by LRA is on the increase.

The situation in Northern Uganda can be described as ‘one of the worst forgotten crises’

There are some of the worst atrocities and massacres that have taken place

1. In February 2004. The rebels of LRA hacked, murdered and burnt more

than 40 people at Abia Internally displaced people’s camp in Apala sub-

county, Lira district. 40 others were wounded!

2. This was followed by another onslaught in which th LRA murdered and killed

more than 20 people in Ojul village in Moroto County, about 35Km east of

Lira district.

3. Gulu, a district of nearly 470,000, has been hit hardest by the 18-year

insurgency of Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. World Food

Programme (WFP) statistics record 438,000 Internally Displaced Persons

(IDPs) district-wide, separated into 33 camps. Over ninety percent of Gulu’s

residents are displaced, some since the war began in 1986. An entire

generation of Ugandans has grown up as domestic refugees.

4. The worst of the massacres ever carried out by the LRA and others,

occurred on Saturday 21st February 2004 at Barlonyo displaced persons

camp in Ogur sub – county, Lira district. The rebels set fire on the camp,

which burnt people alive and killed those who were escaping resulting in a

final death toll of at least more than 240 innocent people!!

Following concerted international pressure, the President of Uganda Government

finally accepted for the first time that the government army officers were to blame for being relaxed when the LRA attacked the Barlonyo camp and Kony. The architect of the war is among the five LRA leaders under investigation by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Conference, we wish to utterly condemn the appalling atrocities that have been carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army in the past 18 years, the failure of the Uganda Government to find a peaceful solution to this problem. Conference should also reject the Uganda Government assertion that donors’ restrictions on defence expenditure have impeded the Uganda Army capacity to defend citizens from such attacks.

We therefore, call upon the Scottish BMC to launch a campaign with UNISON and promote awareness of this problem within the TUC, Scottish TUC and other International Organisations:

We also call upon the SBMC to lobby the NEC to:

(a) Lobby the UK Government regarding the above points

(b) Request Uganda Government as a matter of urgency to make an effort

to end the war in Northern and Eastern Uganda as soon as humanly

possible.

(c) Persuade Uganda Government to engage in dialogue with the rebels

instead of trying to end the war by military means alone.

(d) Put pressure on Uganda Government to stop recruiting young children in

the army.

(e) Lobby the UK Government to work closely with European Union Partners

and the wide International Community to reach a negotiated settlement

between the rebels and the Uganda Government

(f) Lobby the UK Government and her allies to provide financial support for

addressing the humanitarian problems caused by this dreadful war and in

particular the need to rehabilitate children who have been abducted by LRA

and re housing the displaced people and in meeting their needs.

(g) Lobby the UK Government to encourage Uganda Government to declare

Northern Uganda a disaster area.