Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mandate of UN special envoy for LRA affected areas since 2006, ended on June 30th

Sad news from Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 16 July 2009:
Mandate Ends for LRA Envoy
(Kampala) – Human Rights Watch has expressed concern over the suspension of the mandate of the United Nations special envoy for areas affected by the Lord's Resistance Army.

The mandate of the former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, who has been the UN special envoy for LRA affected areas since 2006, ended on June 30th.

Maria Burnett, Human Rights Watch's Uganda researcher spoke to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday. She described the likely impact of the UN envoy’s departure.

[Maria Burnett]: “Human Rights Watch remains extremely concerned about what the United Nations has done in terms of the protection of civilians who have been affected by the LRA in Congo, in Sudan and potentially in the Central African Republic. At the same time, we are also concerned about the warrant from the International Criminal Court and we hope that it will lead to Joseph Kony and other indicted LRA leaders facing justice for their crimes.”

She went on to say that there has been limited international action against the LRA and is calling on the international community to protect civilians from attacks by the LRA.

[Maria Burnett]: “We are looking to the Security Council and other international leaders. We have called on the United States for example to do more to protect civilians who are in the LRA affected areas where the LRA are continuing to commit abuses.”

According to Human Rights Watch reports, about 1200 civilians have been killed and over 250,000 people displaced by the LRA in the past eight months in southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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