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Human Rights Watch Says Civilians Are Suffering In Northern Uganda - 2002-10-30


A prominent human rights group is accusing the Ugandan government and rebels of human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch says both the army and the rebel lord’s Resistance Army, L-R-A, "have stepped up abuses against civilians in recent months."

Human Rights Watch says, "Over the last few months, LRA attacks have targeted not only the Ugandan army but also civilian villagers, displaced persons and refugees as well as the agencies assisting them in both southern Sudan and northern Uganda. In August, the LRA attacked a camp with Sudanese refugees, killing more than fifty refugees. On October 13, the LRA attacked Albilo Nino village in Pader district, and burnt dozens of people to death in their huts."

However, the group is also critical of the government. It says, "The Ugandan government has responded to the increased LRA activity by ordering, on October 3, tens of thousands of people to leave their villages within forty-eight hours, and gather in towns and displacement camps. On October 6th, the army started bombing the region that was to be evacuated. Local sources have reported that some civilians have died in the bombings."

Julliane Kippenberg is the organization’s researcher for Uganda. She spoke from London with English to Africa reporter Richard Kotey.

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