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Uganda faces one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing refugee crises. The implosion of South Sudan has forced more than 1.5 million refugees to seek asylum in the region, with Uganda host to an estimated 700,000 of them.
Authors: Michael Boyce and Francisca Vigaud-Walsh
Since April 2015, Burundi has been descending into chaos, forcing more than 200,000 civilians to flee to neighboring countries. But these well-documented refugee flows are only part of a larger, more disturbing story. The impunity and targeted persecution that exists in Burundi today has resulted in the internal displacement of untold thousands of Burundians, with some in hiding and too scared to even seek humanitarian assistance.
On December 16 last year, refugees began to flood across the border from South Sudan into Uganda as a result of an outbreak of violence in their country of origin. In the past two months the number of new arrivals has grown to roughly 66,000. They are being hosted in three areas: Adjumani, Arua, and Kiryandongo.
On Christmas Eve 2008 and over the following three weeks, 865 women, men and children were savagely beaten to death and hundreds more abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in a remote corner in the north-east of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in southern Sudan. The attack was a murderous backlash in response to Operation "Lightning Thunder", a military offensive launched some 10 days before against the LRA by Uganda, DRC and southern Sudan.
A la veille de Noël 2008 et pendant les trois semaines qui ont suivi, 865 hommes, femmes et enfants furent sauvagement battus à mort et des centaines d'autres enlevés par l'Armée de Résistance du Seigneur (connue sous son sigle anglais : la LRA) dans un coin reculé du nord-est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) et au Sud Soudan. L'attaque était une action de représailles contre l'opération « Eclair de Tonnerre », une offensive militaire lancée contre la LRA quelque 10 jours plus tôt par l'Ouganda, la RDC et le Sud Soudan.
(Washington, November 24, 2010) - President Barack Obama should move swiftly to implement a strategy released on November 24, 2010, to stop atrocities committed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and help affected communities rebuild, a coalition of seven human rights groups said today.
Alors que l'on entame les débats sur l'avenir des opérations de maintien de la paix en RD Congo et les modalités de retrait de la mission, l'est du pays est toujours embourbé dans le conflit. Les initiatives conjointes de la Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation et du gouvernement congolais visant à dresser le bilan des défis encore à relever ont été précipitées et incohérentes. La méthodologie d'évaluation a été développée sans prendre en compte les acteurs clés internes et externes à la mission.
Discussions about the future of peacekeeping in the DR Congo and the modalities of withdrawal are happening while the east of the country remains steeped in conflict. Joint efforts by the UN stabilization mission and the Congolese Government to map remaining challenges have been rushed and incoherent. Assessment methodology was designed without reference to key actors, both inside and outside the mission.
By Limnyuy Konglim
The conflicts in central and eastern Africa are so intertwined that I sometimes confuse myself when taking in my daily dose of displacement and humanitarian news. For example, this week, MINURCAT, the UN peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad, deployed peacekeepers to a town in northeast CAR to protect Sudanese refugees from a Central African rebel group. Similarly Uganda's national army has been allowed to operate in the CAR, Sudan, and DRC in an effort to track down the Ugandan-bred Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group.
Since the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, refused to sign the Final Peace Agreement last fall, the international community has been debating the best way to bring an end to the decades-long violence by the LRA. However, while the focus has been on whether or not to pursue a military strategy, the crucial need for redevelopment in northern Uganda has slipped to the wayside.
(Washington, DC, May 21, 2009) - The introduction of legislation in the US Senate and House of Representatives earlier this week to commit the United States to comprehensive efforts to help civilians threatened by one of the world's longest-running and brutal insurgencies is a crucial step forward for US policy in the region, a coalition of 22 human rights, humanitarian, and faith-based groups said today.
If passed, the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act would require the Obama Administration to develop a regional strategy to protect civilians in …
L'adoption de la loi permettrait d'aider les victimes de l'Armée de Résistance du Seigneur
(Washington, DC) - Le nouveau projet de loi présenté devant le Congrès américain et visant un renforcement des efforts pour aider les civils menacés par l'une des insurrections les plus longues et les plus brutales au monde constitue une avancée cruciale pour la politique américaine dans la région, a déclaré aujourd'hui une coalition de vingt-deux associations des droits humains, humanitaires et basées sur la foi.
Si elle venait à être adoptée, la loi relative au désarmement …
Mon, 05/18/2009 - 16:28 During the 1994 mass migration of Rwandan refugees into the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, what many people didn't realize was that there was also an influx of Rwandan refugees into Uganda. This week, fifteen years after the earth shattering Rwandan genocide, 20,000 refugees are finally returning home. Even though this is an important step towards the full restoration of a severely fractured society, one cannot help but wonder why has it taken so long?
The return and reintegration of refugees is an issue often overlooked during displacement crises.
- The UN Secretariat must conduct a broad review of the UNMIS military and civilian protection role, emphasize the need for UNMIS to take a more proactive stance towards protecting civilians, and provide guidance to military peacekeepers on protection tasks.
- DPKO must renegotiate agreements with troop-contributing countries to include a civilian protection role.
- UNMIS senior leadership must bring together all agencies --- its own units, UN agencies, and NGOs --- involved in protection activities in the north, the contested areas, and the south to …
To promote peace and stability in the region, donors should provide increased funding to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) so that Sudanese refugees who wish to return home from Uganda can do so safely, voluntarily, and in dignity. Assistance will also be needed for those who wish to integrate locally. At the same time, the threat of new violence in south Sudan requires ongoing space for refugees to seek asylum in Uganda.
UNHCR must take a strong stance in opposing any move by the Government of Uganda towards forced returns. The Government of Uganda has produced camp phase-out guidelines, the contents of which have caused major concerns with regard to the voluntariness of the returns process. The Guiding Principles on International Displacement, which the Government of Uganda has recognized, affirm that all returns should be voluntary and that the displaced have the right to resettle in areas outside of their home land.
International donors must support the Government of Uganda to revitalize protection structures at the local level, particularly the Community Development Officers (CDOs), who need to have a stronger presence in every sub-county. As international organizations transition away from humanitarian assistance in the north, CDOs are well-placed to take over leadership on services related to gender-based violence (GBV), children, and other vulnerable groups.
A funding gap is opening up for northern Uganda. During the height of the crisis in the north, humanitarian funds were available relatively quickly. Donors are now reducing humanitarian funding, but recovery and development funds are taking too long to arrive. The majority of humanitarian funding in northern Uganda has been provided via the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP). The 2008 CAP, which includes some recovery activities, is only about 45% funded as compared to the 2007 CAP which was funded at 71%.
Peace negotiations over the past two years between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have produced tangible gains for the north which must not be lost. Despite the fact that LRA leader Joseph Kony has not signed the Final Peace Agreement, improved security has meant that many internally displaced people (IDPs) can now access their farm land and begin rebuilding their homes.
Refugees International has returned to northern Uganda this summer for its sixth mission since 2002. Our advocates, Melanie Teff and Camilla Olson, are travelling from mid-June to July to focus on humanitarian assistance, protection and durable solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs), with an emphasis on the specific needs of women and children.
Over the last two decades, conflict and instability have created massive displacement in northern Uganda. Two years ago, the region began making greater strides toward peace when it began the Juba peace process.