New York, 21 November 2006 – Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, expresses her deep concern at the fate of children still held in the ranks of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Northern Uganda.
"The LRA's recruitment and use of children, as well as other abuses, are perhaps the worst possible violations with regard to children and armed conflict in the region. These violations have to stop", said Radhika Coomaraswamy.
The Special Representative reiterates the calls of the International Community on the LRA leader Joseph Kony to immediately release children, women and non-combatants in compliance with his previous commitments.
She added that "LRA has agreed to do so following the agreement on cessation of hostilities between the Government of Uganda, in August 2006. They must fulfill their obligations for the sake of the children and the peace process".
According to the UN Secretary General's Report annual report on the situation of children in armed conflict (S/2006/826), the LRA continues to abduct children for use as combatants and sexual slaves in northern Uganda, although the total number of abductions has significantly reduced over time.
This report will be discussed in the Security Council debate on 28 November 2006.
For further information, please contact:
Laurence Gerard, Liaison Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children Affected by Armed Conflict, United Nations, New York. Telephone: 1 212 963 0984 – email@example.com – www.un.org/children/conflict