Human rights situation in northeast Uganda shows improvement – UN

3 September 2007 –

The human rights situation in Uganda's Karamoja region has improved significantly over the last four months, with a “marked reduction” in human rights violations, road ambushes and the circulation of illegal arms, the United Nations said today.

In its latest report on the situation in Karamoja – an area in northeast Uganda inhabited by close to 1 million people – the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) highlighted the “improvements in the security and human rights situation in the area as well as advances made by the national army, Uganda Peoples' Defense Forces (UPDF), in conducting disarmament operations.”

Cattle raids and subsequent retaliation by armed Karimojong, however, rank as the highest recorded violence inflicted on the population during the period covered by the report, 1 April to 12 August.

In its previous report released in April, OHCHR voiced concern over escalating violence against civilians in Karamoja where almost 70 people have been killed since last November.

It was also concerned over a “climate of fear and insecurity” in the area where armed Karimojong have reportedly killed seven UPDF soldiers, eight civilians and almost 300 cattle.

The follow-up report issued today in Geneva calls on the authorities to hold perpetrators accountable and to adopt a national response to combat impunity.

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