CNN's Inside Africa draws attention to Uganda’s “Night Commuters”
NEW YORK, 27 June 2004 – CNN Inside Africa is a half-hour weekly television programme which provides global viewers with an inside look at political, economic, social and cultural affairs and trends in Africa. On 26 June, Inside Africa featured a comprehensive report on Uganda’s ‘Night Commuters’. These ‘commuters’ are Ugandan children who leave their homes each night, from fear of being abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). At sundown the children hurry along the road to Gulu, a town in northern Uganda, to seek safety from the rebels in public shelters.
Because of fighting between government and rebel forces, more than 1.6 million people in Uganda have been forced to flee their homes. An estimated 12,000 children have been abducted since 2002. They are forced to fight for the LRA, made to work or used for sex.
“This is a serious example of how war is conducted by adults, but children bear the brunt,” said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy during the broadcast.
Inside Africa also considered other aspects of the humanitarian emergency in northern Uganda. Camps for displaced people are exposed to frequent LRA attacks, and HIV infection rates are on the rise. “The humanitarian crisis is growing, not getting smaller,” said Ms. Bellamy.