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UN rights chief deplores abuses, atrocities in north Uganda

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official website], currently on a one-week mission [UN press release] to Uganda [JURIST news archive], expressed concern Thursday about fundamental human rights problems in the northern area of the country where government forces have been fighting the infamous Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [Global Security backgrounder]:

The situation in northern Uganda remains extremely grave and this gravity raises serious concerns...People are deprived of social, material and human rights needs...There is violation of human dignity in the [refugee] camps. People complained about lack of access, violations of their rights, denials of health and economic rights...The most severe violation is the total incapacitation of the people to participate in decisions concerning their future. They express their needs in the very short term and the deprivation of hope is very serious."
Arbor said that the LRA is responsible for many of the abuses, but also blamed the Ugandan People's Defense Forces (UPDF) [Wikipedia backgrounder], the country's official army, with smaller violations that "contain an element of breach of trust where the person that is supposed to defend you instead offends you." The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] issued arrest warrants [JURIST report] for five LRA leaders last October. AFP has more.

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