UN Refugee Agency Concludes Work in Northern Uganda

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The United Nations refugee agency today concluded its relief work among nearly two million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Uganda.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that majority of the IDPs have returned to their villages, after years in camps turmoil engulfed the country’s north.

The UNHCR closed its office in the northern Uganda town of Gulu last week which marks an end of its support for those displaced by the warfare.

victims
SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon (left) and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, walk to the field at Mandela National Stadium in Kampala, Uganda. Mr. Ban and Mr. Museveni, clad in blue (representing the Justice team) and white (the Dignity team), played a 10-minute friendly football match as part of War Victims Day, an observance for the victims of war crimes. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

Two decades of fighting between the Ugandan Government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) drove almost two million people from their homes in northern Uganda and devastated infrastructure and services. The region suffers from higher levels of poverty, malnutrition, under-five mortality and children out of school.

In October 2005 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first-ever arrest warrants against five senior members of the LRA: the leader Joseph Kony, and commanders Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen and Raska Lukwiya.

The UNHCR office in Gulu had since 2006 focused on camp management and the protection of IDPs. The agency also helped 11,600 of the most vulnerable IDPs to either return home or to integrate into communities where lived. It also provided basic reintegration help, including water, building roads, schools, health centres, police posts and other infrastructure.

Some 30,000 displaced Ugandans are still living in four remaining camps, transit centres and in local communities.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.