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Statement of UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on Uganda

NEW YORK/GENEVA/NAIROBI/KAMPALA, 29 August 2006 – UNICEF welcomes the agreement between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to cease hostilities, which is aimed at ending 20 years of armed conflict.

We urge both the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army to fully embrace this opportunity to finally resolve decades of conflict through a comprehensive peace agreement and to keep women and children foremost in the discussions. 

We are encouraged by the prospect in the agreement for “the LRA to re-locate and make special provisions for any non-essential members of the LRA in the care of specialized humanitarian agencies.”  In this regard, UNICEF urges the prompt return of all children and women who have been separated from their families and communities in northern Uganda.  UNICEF will continue to work with partners to provide the necessary and appropriate assistance to, and protection of, the returning children and women, and is fully prepared to support the process of release, reception and reintegration in collaboration with the Amnesty Commission, District Local Governments, traditional and religious leaders, and national and international humanitarian organizations.

The protection of children is a universal imperative, and it is critical that the reintegration of all separated children – including formerly abducted children – be reintegrated into their families, extended families or communities of origin.  Children and women in Uganda must have unhindered access to health, education, safe water, shelter, protection and other essential services.


For background

The agreement was reached during negotiations in Juba mediated by the Government of South Sudan.

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About UNICEF
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:

Chulho Hyun, UNICEF-Uganda: Tel + 256 41 234591/2; chyun@unicef.org

Gordon Weiss, UNICEF- New York: Tel + 212-326 7426; gweiss@unicef.org

Wivina Belmonte, UNICEF- Geneva: Tel + 41 22 909 5712; wbelmonte@unicef.org


 

 

 

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