UGANDA: ATTACKS ON INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS CAMPS KILL MORE THAN 125 IN PAST MONTH

AFR/968-IHA/918
11 June 2004

UGANDA: ATTACKS ON INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS CAMPS KILL MORE THAN 125 IN PAST MONTH

11/06/2004
Press Release
AFR/968
IHA/918

UGANDA:  ATTACKS ON internally displaced persons CAMPS KILL


MORE THAN 125 IN PAST MONTH


NEW YORK, 11 June (OCHA) -- The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, has condemned a series of attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda that have left more than 125 people dead in the past four weeks.


“These vicious attacks against some of the most vulnerable civilians are appalling.  In many cases, the victims have fled attack after attack, desperate for safety.  I condemn these atrocities in the strongest terms and call on the Lord’s Resistance Army to stop all abuses against civilians immediately.  I also call on the government to redouble their efforts to protect internally displaced persons, and to find a peaceful solution for this crisis”, said Mr. Egeland.


In the latest incident on 8 June, a group of 100 LRA rebels attacked a camp for IDPs at Abok in Ngai subcounty, some 70 kilometres from Lira, killing 25 people, including 5 children.  The rebels also abducted 26 people and burned more than 600 huts, destroying the victims’ food stocks in the process.  This is the fourth such attack by LRA rebels in the past month, which have killed a total of more than 125 people.


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) led an inter-agency thorough assessment of humanitarian needs in the camp, and agencies supplied immediate assistance.  The previous three attacks followed a similar pattern, with roughly 100 rebels attacking camps at around 6 p.m.  On 3 June, LRA rebels attacked an IDP camp at Kalabong in Namokora subcounty near Kitgum, killing 23 people and injuring 12; 155 huts were burned; 20 people were reported missing and are assumed to have been abducted.


On 20 May, 41 people were killed and another 7,000 displaced in an attack by the LRA on the Lukodi IDP camp some 12 kilometres from Gulu, Uganda.  It is estimated that more than 200 huts were burned in the attack.  The number of persons injured or abducted in the attacks is still not clear.


Another 39 people were killed on 16 May when members of the Lord’s Resistance Army attacked the Pagak camp for IDPs in northern Uganda.  The majority of victims were women and children, many of whom were clubbed to death.  More than 3,000 people fled the IDP camp after that attack.  These atrocities follow similar attacks against civilians in the villages of Odek on 29 April and in Barlonyo on 21 February, in which at least 190 people were murdered.


For further information, please call:  Brian Grogan, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs New York, tel.:  1 212 963-1143; Elizabeth Byrs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Geneva, tel.:  41 22 917 2653, mobile:  41 (0)79 472 4570.


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For information media. Not an official record.