UN Under-Secretary General Jan Egeland is scheduled to brief the Security Council Monday on the continuing war in northern Uganda. The aid agency OXFAM International is using the occasion to repeat its call for a UN resolution urging an end to the violence.
Emma Naylor is Oxfam’s country program manager in Uganda. From Kampala, she spoke with English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about conditions in northern Uganda.
“The situation in Uganda is just getting steadily worse. There are nearly two million people who live in camps for displaced people. These camps are squalid, disgusting conditions in terms of lack of water, lack of access to hygiene facilities, lack of health care, really grim conditions. A recent report issued by the World Health Organization and others suggested that a thousand people die every week as a result of this,” she says.
An OXFAM statement says “Children are paying with their lives for UN Security Council inaction.”
Ms. Naylor says, “This war has been going on for twenty years and the Security Council has never bothered to even put it on their agenda. More than 25,000 children have been abducted and forced to fight in the recent period of the war. And in the last couple of months, we’ve seen a spate of attacks on aid workers as well.”
She also says the war is having a regional effect: “We’ve also seen that this war is starting to threaten peace and stability in countries in the region that surround Uganda, south Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There’s no longer any excuse for the international community not to see this as their problem. And we think it’s high time they take a firm resolution and urge all parties, the government of Uganda and the rebels, but also the other countries in the region, to start taking firm action to end this war,” she says.