Global Policy Forum

UK Wants UN Report on War in North


By Peter Nyanzi

The Monitor
December 16, 2005

The British government is supporting a move to have a resolution passed on the situation in northern Uganda in the United Nations Security Council. Britain, which is the current President of the Security Council, might have the resolution adopted in the next sitting on December 19, paving way for a UN intervention in the conflict.

In a written statement posted on the British Parliament website, the British Minister of State for Trade, Mr Ian Pearson, said, "The UK has supported previous efforts to raise northern Uganda in the United Nations (UN) Security Council. As presidency, the UK has invited Jan Egeland, the UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator to provide a briefing on humanitarian issues in Africa on December 19."

Pearson was responding to a question raised by Member of Parliament John Bercow, as to whether the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs would raise the matter of the conflict in northern Uganda at the UN Security Council during the British presidency of the security council.

"A number of non governmental organisations have written to the foreign secretary, advocating for a UN Security Council resolution during the UK's term of office. We are currently considering their ideas and how we can most effectively continue to address the situation in northern Uganda," Pearson said.

Following a rebel war that has been raging in the area for over 19 years leaving over 1.6 million displaced, the Parliament of Uganda passed a resolution in November 2003 declaring the north a disaster area. However the Executive rejected the idea, saying only the President had the power to declare a disaster area, but has not done so since. Pearson said resolving the long-running conflict in Northern Uganda and addressing its humanitarian impact is a priority for the UK.

"In our discussions with the Ugandan government, we emphasise the need to bring peace to northern Uganda, provide adequate protection for the people of the North and to continue to encourage those Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) members not indicted by the International Criminal Court to seek amnesty and re-integration into their communities. We are also encouraging the governments of the region to work together to ensure that those LRA members who have been indicted are brought to justice," he said. He said the UK has provided support for a number of specific peace initiatives, including the recent mediation effort led by Ms Betty Bigombe.




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