Saturday, January 08, 2005

Northern Uganda ceasefire talks collapse and hopes for end to 18 year war are dashed

The following Press Release was issued by Oxfam International 8 January 2005. It highlights the fact that 1.6 million people in northern Uganda continue to face a terrible humanitarian crisis:

Oxfam welcomes the historic peace deal to end the civil war in Sudan, but warns of deepening humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Uganda

On the eve of the historic signing of the Sudan peace agreement, international agency Oxfam warns that 1.6 million people in neighbouring northern Uganda will continue to face a terrible humanitarian crisis following the collapse of the ceasefire between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army on 1 January 2005.

Welcoming the signing of the peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Caroline Nursey Oxfam Regional Director said

"The end of the 21 year civil war in Sudan is a momentous time for the people of Sudan. However just across the border in northern Uganda, the ceasefire talks have collapsed and hopes for an end to the 18 year war have been dashed."

African leaders, the African Union and the wider international community, who were instrumental in bringing about peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM, must now concentrate their attention on the conflict in Northern Uganda as well as addressing the crisis in Darfur.

"The ceasefire in northern Uganda must be given another chance to work. African leaders and the international community must keep pressure on all parties to resume talks as soon as possible." said Emma Naylor, Oxfam Uganda Country Director

"It is difficult to imagine how continued conflict in northern Uganda will not threaten the peace in Sudan. The fate of people in Sudan and Uganda are intertwined." said Emma Naylor

As the world's attention is drawn to the tragic Asian tsunami disaster, Oxfam calls on the international community to support the historic peace agreement in Sudan and to continue to push for peace in Darfur and neighbouring Uganda.

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