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Relief Agencies Want UN Security Council Resolution on Northern Uganda

A coalition of relief agencies is calling on the UN Security Council to pass a resolution on northern Uganda, which has endured 20 years of war.

OXFAM, CARE and Save the Children say despite the displacement of two million people -- and the kidnapping of over 25 thousand children by LRA rebels -- the Security Council has failed to act. Greg Puley is OXFAM’s policy advisor at the United Nations. From New York, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the call for a UN resolution.

He says, “Well, first of all because the humanitarian in northern Uganda is one of the worst in the world. There are just under two million people who’ve been displaced by the conflict. This rebel army, the Lord’s Resistance Army, has been operating in southern Sudan. It’s been operating in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. So, we think that in addition to being a massive humanitarian crisis, it’s also a threat to international peace and security, and it’s in those situations where the Security Council has to get involved.”

The relief agencies want the UN to recognize the scale of the crisis, insist the Ugandan government protect its civilians, and do everything it can to support the peace process. Mr. Puley says, “We’d like to see the Ugandan arm do a much better job of protecting civilians. We’d like to see much greater humanitarian access. Currently there are many, many people who are beyond reach of the kind of humanitarian relief that we’d like to get them simply because it’s too unsafe to provide that relief. These are two of the key things we think the Security Council could do.” The humanitarian agencies say the council could act quickly if there’s enough political will.