Continued attacks by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda have made it difficult for humanitarian workers to assist about 2.5 million people in the region to meet their basic needs, a senior UN official said on Monday. Full report from IRIN 14 Dec 2005 - excerpts:
1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in extreme poverty and inhuman conditions in camps in Acholi region.
Others include IDPs in [eastern] Teso and Lango regions; some 260,000 refugees in eight districts in the [northwestern] West Nile and western regions of the country; and more than 500,000 drought affected people in [northeastern] Karamoja region.
Northern Uganda has remained the scene of a brutal insurgency that pits government forces against the LRA, resulting in the displacement of close to 90 percent of the region's people.
The displaced live in 105 overcrowded camps and rely largely on external assistance for survival while insecurity hinders access of relief workers to IDP camps.
"The killing of humanitarian workers in northern Uganda and southern Sudan between the last week of October and the first week of November has further undermined unhindered access in most of Acholi sub-region and northern Lango," he noted.
The rebels also frequently attack refugee settlements in the northwestern town of Adjumani. At the same time, LRA activities in southern Sudan have led to the arrival of a new wave of Sudanese refugees.
Mogwanja urged the government to increase military patrols along the main roads and around IDP settlements.
Note Consolidated Appeal for Uganda 2006 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 30 Nov 2005.