U.N. Daily Highlights
7 July 1997

Uganda: Children Abducted

The head of the United Nations children's agency has expressed concern at the continuing plight of thousands of children who have been abducted by the rebel forces of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda.

Carol Bellamy, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said in statement on Thursday that despite the failure of current advocacy efforts to end the abductions and secure the unconditional release of the children, she was encouraged by the recent visit to Sudan of a Ugandan delegation seeking to secure the release by the LRA of a number of adolescent girls abducted in late 1996.

According to UNICEF, an estimated five to eight thousand children had been abducted over the past two years in northern Uganda. The UN children's agency said that the majority of the children, between the ages of 12 and 16, were trained as fighters or given as wives to rebel commanders. UNICEF said that concerted international efforts to secure the release of the Ugandan children would send an important lesson to other countries in similar situations.

Return to PANGAEA HomePage