Uganda: "Breaking God's commands": The destruction of childhood by the Lord's Resistance Army

September 17, 1997

Uganda: "Breaking God's commands": The destruction of childhood by the Lord's Resistance Army

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  • develop programs of action within a framework that identifies the human and child rights situation in northern Uganda as an issue for all Ugandans and not just those from the north;
  • monitor and expose the abuse of human rights by all parties in the north of Uganda;
  • support and publicize, as appropriate, the work of human rights and child-orientated NGOs in northern Uganda;
  • monitor the Uganda Government's progress in fulfilling its international obligations to protect children in northern Uganda;
  • develop a national campaign against rape and sexual violence;
  • encourage the Uganda Human Rights Commission to open an investigatory office in Gulu;
  • campaign for an inquiry or truth commission into human rights abuses in northern Uganda since January 1986.

To the Uganda Human Rights Commission

The Uganda Human Rights Commission has strong powers, guaranteed in the constitution, to investigate reports of human rights abuses. It is also charged with developing a continuing program of education and information to enhance respect of human rights. As the commission defines its profile in the public eye, its preparedness to protect the situation of human rights in the north may become a defining issue for it. It is uniquely placed to demonstrate the role of proactive human rights work in building confidence between the people and the state. In this light, Amnesty International urges it to:

  • expand its proactive investigation of human rights abuses in northern Uganda since October 1995;
  • make itself accessible to the people of the north by opening an investigatory office in Gulu.

To the international community

Member states of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity and the human rights structures created by those bodies should be aware that the human rights situation in the on-going war in northern Uganda is grave. Uganda's traumatic experience of human rights abuse has not ended. The abuse of the human rights of children in particular points up the need for strong international measures to protect children in armed conflicts. In the light of this Amnesty international is calling: